Electric scooters are incredibly popular in Spain both with local residents and with visitors. But with so many scooters on Spanish roads and pavements they can also be dangerous, not only for the scooter users but also for pedestrians and other road users.
Electric scooters remain legal in Spain but in a landmark decision the Marbella city council have unveiled a comprehensive list of new local laws that will severely restrict how scooters can be used in the town. The aim of the rules are to both enhance safety and to control the use of both scooters and personal mobility vehicles (PMVs).
Here’s everything you need to know about the new laws surrounding electric scooter use in Marbella right now:
Why Have The New Rules Been Introduced?
The primary purpose of the new laws is to reflect Marbella's commitment to ensuring safer and more responsible use of these popular modes of transportation. Responsible riding, safety, the welfare of riders and the protection of local residents are the main concern here. For this reason the rules have been largely welcomed by both visitors and residents in the town.
The new rules were introduced by local councillor Félix Romero who emphasised that they would be initially implemented in an "experimental" manner. The term experimental provides flexibility for the town to amend their new regulations and evolve them as the unique needs of the town evolve too.
The result of the regulations, as they are changed and manipulated for optimal performance, is to install order into the cowboy electric scooter landscape in the town and to lead to a marked improvement in road safety throughout the town.
Electric scooter use is a genuine concern in towns and cities across Spain because the sector is so unregulated. As a result, Marbella is considered a pioneer in the enforcement of strict rules surrounding scooter use. It is hoped the town will provide an influential model for other cities facing comparable issues in the age of shared mobility.
What Are The New Rules?
As already mentioned above, the rules that are being introduced are considered experimental and therefore subject to change, but at the time of writing the new rules intended to promote responsible riding in Marbella include:
- Mandatory Helmet Wearing. It doesn’t matter whether you own your electric scooter or whether you are renting one on a short term basis. You can now no longer ride a scooter in Marbella without a helmet. This is to minimise the risk of head injuries.
- Footwear Regulations. The new rules prohibit ‘excessively loose’ footwear. This covers shoes such as sandals and flip-flops as well as going barefoot.
- Lower Age Limits. You can’t ride an electric scooter in Marbella unless you are at least 14 years old.
- Insurance Is Required. You now can’t ride a scooter in Marbella unless you have insurance coverage. The aim of this insurance is to protect not only the scooter riders but also any potential accident victims.
- New Speed Limits Introduced. There is now a maximum speed limit in place in Marbella. The maximum speed is 20 km/h but this is reduced to 5 km/h in designated pedestrian areas.
- Rules About Where To Ride. If there are designated cycle lanes available then riders have to use there wherever possible. In areas without cycle lanes electric scooters should stay off the pavement and ride on the right hand side of the road. If you want to take your scooter into a pedestrianised area then you will need to dismount and walk with your scooter.
- Parking Regulations. How and where to park as well as designated areas for safe storage of scooters will be covered under these regulations.
The aim of these regulations is to instil order in Marbella and make the roads and pavements much safer. Electric scooters have a valuable place but they have lead to a decline in road safery throughout the town. As a result, Marbella is establishing itself as a pioneer in enforcing new electric scooter regulations, providing an influential model for other cities facing comparable issues in the age of shared mobility.
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