How should you behave when riding an electric scooter? What are the rules to follow ?
First, your speed will determine where you need to ride.
• If you ride at a walking pace
You can ride on the sidewalk as long as you do not exceed walking pace. In this case, you are considered as a pedestrian and must behave as such (use pedestrian crossings, respect pedestrian traffic lights, etc.).
• If your speed exceeds walking pace
In case your speed exceeds walking pace then you are considered a cyclist and must act accordingly (prohibition to ride on the sidewalks, use the bike path, or in case there are none, the pavement, you can use one-way streets in both directions, etc.).
Walking pace = the average speed of the pedestrians on the sidewalk you take.
If you ride by passing them and weave between pedestrians, it means you are going too fast. In this case, you may surprise and endanger other users of the sidewalk, and you also may be sanctioned by a police officer, competent to assess this notion of speed.
• What is the speed limit when riding on the pavement?
The current standard is 25km / h since May 31, 2019.
Some practical tips to ride safely
Take the necessary time to have a good grip of the machine. Train on a parking lot, a private area before you get into traffic;
Prioritize driving on the sidewalk first before using the pavement, without endangering pedestrians;
Never exceed walking pace when riding on the sidewalk. It is against traffic regulations and, in addition to that, it is likely to surprise other users and may cause an accident ;
Always respect traffic regulations (red lights, traffic direction, etc.) and remain predictable for other users: they may not expect to see you on the road;
Avoid placing yourself in the blind spots of cars, trucks and buses. Drivers do not see you in that angle, and are not yet used to anticipate the presence of a scooter.
- Finally, do not underestimate the consequence of a scooter accident. These can be very serious. It is safer to wear a bicycle helmet: the risk of fracture and head trauma is real in the event of a fall;
- Think about people with reduced mobility (people in wheelchairs, disabled, visually-impaired, etc.): park your scooter on the street side (and not the housefront side) parallel to the sidewalk and do not park your scooter on the tactile tiles.
Electric scooters and other "micromobility" devices can have many advantages: speed, efficiency, numerous possibilities for multimodality, etc.
However, in order for their practice to be really effective and as safe as possible, it is necessary to follow these few rules of good practice and to adopt a respectful behavior to other users.