The New Regulations for Electronic Scooters – September 2019

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(Translated press release – www.service-public.fr)
Electric scooters, monowheels, gyropods, hoverboards… The new motorized Personal Travel Machines (Edps) provide new solutions for everyday mobility. However, their increasing presence on the streets and in the public space is not yet regulated and raises increasing safety issues. The Government has therefore committed itself to the evolution of the traffic code, in order to take into account the existence of these new vehicles and to define rules for the benefit of all.

After several months of work and consultation with all the actors concerned, the Ministries of the Interior (Delegation to Road Safety) and Transport have just finalised a draft decree amending the Highway Code. It has just been notified to the European Commission and will be presented to the National Standards Assessment Council (CNEN) and then to the Council of State.

This new regulation will come into force in September 2019.

WHY A NEW REGULATION?

TODAY’S SITUATION

Non-motorized EDP users (scooters, skateboards, rollerblades, etc.) are considered pedestrians by the highway code. They can therefore walk on sidewalks and other areas authorised to pedestrians provided they remain at the speed of the step.

On the other hand, motorized Edps (electric scooters, monowheels, gyropodes, hoverboards, etc.) do not belong to any category of the highway code. Their circulation in public space is therefore not currently authorised or regulated : their use is in principle limited to private spaces or closed to traffic.

THE REGULATORY ISSUE

The creation of a dedicated regulation will make it possible to fight against regularly observed dangerous behaviour, to evolve towards a responsible and safer use of these devices and to regain a peaceful use of sidewalks for pedestrians, and especially the most vulnerable : the elderly, children, people with reduced mobility.

The Government’s objective is to create a framework for the development of these new machines while ensuring the safety of their users and other people.

WHAT IS THE GOVERNMENT PLANNING TO DO?
An Order in Council will create new provisions in the Highway Traffic Act. It will recognise motorized Edps as a new category of gear and define their status, equipment and traffic rules as well as any equipment obligations of their users. At the same time, a clause in the proposed Mobility Act will allow mayors to apply poss


WHAT ARE THE NEW RULES ?
The rules for motorized Edps will be essentially the same as those currently applicable to cyclists, with some specificities.

GENERAL RULES

  •  Motorized EDP users should exercise caution, both for their own safety and that of others.
  • You must be at least 12 years old to be eligible to drive a motorized EDP.
  • The carriage of passengers is prohibited: it is a device for exclusively personal use.
  • Earphones or any device that may emit sound shall not be worn.

EQUIPMENT

  • A Helmet use is not mandatory but strongly recommended.
  • At night, or during the day in poor visibility, and even in urban areas, they wear retro-reflective clothing or equipment (for example, a vest, an armband, …)
  • Motorized Edps shall be equipped with: front and rear lamps, retro-reflective devices (retro-reflectors), brake, and an audible warning device.
  • It is forbidden to travel with on a vehicle whose maximum speed is not limited to 20 km/h.

TRAFFIC LANES

  • Motorized Edps are prohibited from going on the sidewalk (unless the mayor makes arrangements to allow them). On sidewalks, the machine must be driven by hand without using the engine.
  • In urban areas, they are obliged to use the bike lanes and lanes where they exist. Otherwise, they may use roads with a maximum authorized speed of 50 km/h or less.
  • Outside the agglomeration, their circulation is prohibited on the road, it is strictly limited to green lanes and cycle paths.
  • Parking on a sidewalk is only possible if it does not interfere with pedestrian traffic. The Mobility Act will allow mayors to lay down more precise rules of their choice.

SANCTIONS

  • If you do not follow the rules of the road: 35 euros fine (2nd class)
  • If you drive on a sidewalk without being authorised: 135 euros fine (4th class)
  • If you drive with a vehicle whose maximum speed is not limited to 20 km/h : 1,500 euros fine (5th class)

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