Helmets will become obligatory for users of electric scooters. / sur

Spain's new Traffic Law includes regulations for electric scooters

They must not be used on pavements, are banned from some types of roads and the drivers can be subject to breathalyser tests. But do they need insurance?

SUSANA ZAMORA Malaga

The new Traffic Law which comes into force in Spain on 21 March makes it obligatory for anyone driving an electric scooter or any other personal mobility vehicle to wear a helmet. It does not impose this directly, but gives councils the power to regulate it through local bylaws, and failing to comply can lead to a fine of up to 200 euros and the vehicle being immobilised.

People who drive individual scooters of this type may not wear earphones or travel at more than 25 kilometres per hour, and can be subjected to a breathalyser test. If they are over the limit, they can be fined between 500 and 1,000 euros. For under-18s, the limit is zero.

Nor can electric scooters be driven on pavements, in pedestrian areas, on dual carriageways and motorways, through urban tunnels and certain parts of towns.

Do they need insurance?

Like any other vehicle on the road, they can also be involved in accidents and in that case, who pays?

The national roads authority (DGT) says that although insurance is not obligatory, many scooters are already covered as part of the owner’s household insurance policy but if they are not insured or the driver flees, the Insurance Compensation Consortium may respond to a claim if the facts are proven.

How much does insurance cost?

There are insurance policies for electric scooters on the market. For example AXA has a civil liability policy with a limit of 1.2 million euros (and 300,000 euros per victim). “The cost varies depending on the level of cover, but we have products from 20 euros a year,” say sources at AXA.

The DGT also says that Línea Directa has recently launched Vivaz Safe&Go, the first pay-as-you-go insurance for users of electric scooters and other personal mobility vehicles. “It’s 100 per cent digital, you actívate it and deactivate it when you need it from your mobile phone and it costs 2 céntimos a minute,” says Línea Directa.