The new rules on electric scooters have become necessary given the huge spread, in a short time, of these micro-mobility vehicles and the high number of accidents involving them.
They were regulated by Decree Law 121/2021, converted into Law No. 156 of November 9, 2021.
The changes affected not only the conditions of their circulation, but also the type of mandatory and/or permitted equipment.
In 2020, with Law No.8 of February 28, provisions had been given on the circulation of electric micro-mobility and atypical vehicles, a phenomenon analyzed and regulated by the legislature, with special regulations.
At that time, electric scooters were equated with bicycles, and it was stipulated that a minimum age of 14 years would be required to ride them.
No license required then; no license required now either.
It remains the obligation to wear a helmet for minors remains.
To ride the electric scooter besides not needing a license, no liability insurance is required.
Insurance becomes mandatory only for those offering a rental service.
No license plate will be compulsory for owned electric scooters; of course, rental ones have their own identification code.
Rules already in effect
- The electric scooter may have a motor with a continuous rated power not exceeding 0.50 kW (500 watts);
- The electric scooter may not have a seat for the user;
- The electric scooter must have a speed limiter (adjusted to current limits);
- The electric scooter cannot be ridden with a passenger, due to issues of safety and stability of the vehicle;
- The electric scooter must be equipped with a bell for audible signals;
- Electric scooters may not ride on sidewalks, unless the sidewalks are used as bicycle lanes, and they may not ride in the wrong direction, except on streets that allow two-way cycling;
- Electric scooters may ride on urban streets, if the speed limit does not exceed 50 km/h, in pedestrian areas and where there are mixed pedestrian-bike paths;
- Drivers, from half an hour after sunset, throughout the period of darkness, and during the day if weather conditions require illumination, must be equipped with white or yellow front lights and red lights and red rear reflectors for visual signals. Unless such lights are provided, the vehicles may not be operated, only driven or carried by hand.
The new rules introduced by Law 15/2022
The new rules introduced by Law 15/2022 are mainly aimed at ensuring the safety of the electric scooter driver, placed in an urban context of coexistence with other vehicles and pedestrians.
As of July 1, 2022, there is an obligation to be equipped with dual brakes, arrows (i.e., light indicators to signal turning) and stop lights, in addition to the lights already provided.
Scooters already on the road will have to be brought into compliance by January 1, 2024.
After sunset, or during the day if one is in low-visibility conditions, riders must wear a reflective vest or high-visibility reflective suspenders.
Scooter use remains restricted to the individual: there is an absolute ban on carrying other people, objects or animals, towing or being towed by other vehicles.
“Rigged” electric scooters will not be tolerated: modifying one’s scooter, to alter its performance, could lead to confiscation of the vehicle, and a fine of 100 to 400 euros.
The speed limit that can be reached has changed from the previous 25 km/h to the current 20 km/h. The existing 6 km/h in pedestrian areas remains unchanged.
The scooter may not obstruct the movement of pedestrians or other vehicles on roads and sidewalks: to put an end to wild parking, a ban on parking electric scooters on sidewalks has been introduced, as well as on the street or anywhere they can block the entrance or exit from gates, or private roads.
“Wild parking of scooters” carries a fine that can range from a minimum of 42 euros to a maximum of 168 euros. It can be imposed only in case of flagrant offense, in the absence of identification plates.
Parking is allowed in special spaces dedicated to scooters, the implementation of which is the responsibility of Italian municipalities, and it is still legal to park at bicycle stalls.
Summary: rules for electric scooter drivers
Drivers of electric scooters:
- Must be at least 14 years of age;
- Must wear a helmet if they are minors;
- Must observe and not exceed the permitted speed limit of 20 km/h, and 6 km/h in pedestrian areas;
- Cannot carry other persons, objects or animals, tow vehicles, lead animals and be towed by another vehicle;
- Must have free use of arms and hands and hold the handlebars with both hands;
- May signal the turning maneuver with their arms if their vehicle is not yet equipped with arrows;
- Must wear retro-reflective vests or suspenders in case of poor visibility, and in any case starting half an hour after sunset and throughout the period of darkness;
- Must ride scooters equipped with lighted turn and brake indicators on both wheels (lights and stops), with the obligation in this regard taking effect on January 1, 2024.
Rules for rental electric scooters (sharing)
Scooter rental services, have the mandatory insurance coverage. Municipal councils can authorize the service only by placing a limit on the number of vehicles on the road and indicating specific areas where rental service cannot be used.
To prevent wild parking of scooters, those who rent them must make it mandatory to finish the ride by sending a photograph of the place where the vehicle is left.
Sharing operators of electric scooters are also responsible for informing their users about the correct use of electric scooter.
The future of traffic: a new highway code in 2023
Attention placed on scooters also in the future highway code, being launched by the Italian government, which may tighten regulations for those riding on these vehicles.
Planned are two important innovations, currently under consideration, hoped for by the Ministry of Transport:
- Include a helmet requirement for all those riding on an electric scooter, with the aim of avoiding major damage in the event of an accident or fall.
- Equip all scooters with an identification plate.
If you have been the victim of claims involving electric scooters, you can get advice from our Personal Injury lawyers.
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