Since e-scooters have become such a popular form of transportation in Barcelona, the city council has categorized the mode as a type A vehicle. This new decision has placed new regulations upon scooters. Most tourists who come to visit are unaware of these new set rules, and therefore, I want to educate anyone coming to Barcelona and renting e-scooters.
Due to previous problems related to electric scooters, citizens must now comply with Spain’s updated e-scooter national traffic authority (DGT) laws. Residents have been instructed to follow these new regulations to bring safety and structure to the streets.
Working at LYNX for over a month now, I can confidently say that when my co-workers and I notify visitors of these rules, they do not take us seriously. Witnessing that most locals still are not following the new policies, visitors are quick to respond, “But I have seen others doing that!” This reaction is understandable as it does seem unfair when compared, but people are taking quite a risk by following the careless herd.
If you would like to stray from hefty violation tickets and uncomfortable conversations with the police, I would advise that you keep reading.
Where You Can’t Ride in Barcelona with Electric Scooter
As you stroll through the busy streets in Spain, specifically Barcelona, people will notice that scooters and bicycles are rarely seen on the sidewalks. The reason for this is because e-scooters are no longer allowed on pavements. So much so that when riders are caught, they are fined up to €500 by Spanish police. If you need to travel from one street to another and notice there is no bike or scooter lane, pedestrians can walk their vehicles on the sidewalk, just as long as they are not riding them on the scooters.
Electric scooters are also not allowed on intercity roads, highways, city tunnels, roundabouts, or bus lanes. For some, turning onto one of these other lanes seems harmless, but police have made it clear that bike and scooter lanes are the only locations riders can travel on.
Speeding from location to location on the scooters is a great activity with family and friends. However, only one person at a time is allowed on the e-scooter. That means you can not share a scooter with a friend or child. Many tourists come to Barcelona and disregard this rule. Just the other day, I checked out a group of guys from Turkey, and the next day one of them returned to the shop to explain how the police confiscated his scooter and wrote him up a 100€ ticket for sharing his scooter.
Yes, locals practice this act frequently, yet I would not try it as a tourist, especially with language barriers.
Fines and More Fines
Similar to other vehicles, riders can not wear earphones while on a scooter. This fine will cost offenders up to 200€. This seems like a pretty logical rule, but others might try and wear one Airpod, for example, and still get fined.
As one may also predict, riders will face another 200€ fine for using their mobile phones while traveling by scooter. Just like driving a car, the country wants to decrease distracted riding.
Wearing a helmet has most recently been placed in effect. Again, locals tend not to abide by this order but will land offenders 200€ when stopped. They may look funny, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Lastly, riding under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is highly prohibited. The most common causes of fatal accidents involving e-scooters in Spain occur because of people who are under the influence. Making a considerable note of this pattern, Spain’s government and police try their best to scout out drunk or high riders. When these individuals get caught, officers fine them a 200€ fine, along with other suspensions.
Speed Limits of Electric Scooters in Barcelona
Speed limits range all over the scale for vehicles in Spain, but for e-scooters, the maximum speed is 25 km/hr and a minimum of 6 km/hr on all roads. Most e-scooters can accelerate beyond the speed limit, and this is where most tourists find themselves in trouble. Simply because the scooter can reach 30 km does not mean that it is safe to speed.
There, too, is news circulating that all vehicles on two-way streets in the cities of Spain will drop from 50 to 30 km/hr. These speeds create a safer space for e-scooters to travel alongside.
Other Helpful Information
When riding at night, rides need to wear reflective gear and display both front white guiding lights and rear red lights. This is the same as cyclists! Insurance and certification of ownership or rental agreement should also always be on hand.
I hope that these bring insight and warning to new e-scooter riders in Spain. Please reach out and call LYNX for any other questions or concerns you may have!