Spain advocates compulsory insurance for e-scooter

by Lorraine Williamson

MADRID – The regulations for electric scooters in Spain may change in the coming months. Last Wednesday, a 78-year-old woman in Lleida was killed after a collision with an e-scooter. According to the Spanish DGT, there is reason enough for an insurance obligation. 

Last Monday, director Pere Navarro of the Spanish tourist board DGT made this announcement. He would like to see national legislation for mandatory liability insurance for drivers of an e-scooter in the short term. 

Rules around e-step already tightened up 

This is not the first time this has been discussed in Spain. In recent years there has been a lot of discussion around this trendy means of transport. And, as such, the rules have been tightened up previously. Most recently, E-steps have been banned on pavements and in pedestrian areas. Also, the maximum speed allowed is 25 km per hour. Consequently, drivers, just like other drivers, must obey the traffic rules. 

No national regulations in Spain 

There is currently no national legislation on compulsory insurance for electric scooters. Some municipalities, such as Benidorm and Alicante, have already started making liability insurance and wearing a helmet mandatory. Due to the lack of a national framework, there is currently a great deal of legal uncertainty, as each municipality has to rely on its own to create legal clarity. 

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Spanish DGT argues for regulations like in France 

Because there are still too many accidents with these e-scooters, and the rules about liability are often very unclear, Navarro thinks it is a good time for Spain to make insurance for this mode of transport mandatory for drivers. Without insurance, if a driver of an e-scooter hits someone, he or she will have to pay for the damage caused by his or her own capital. 

Navarro of the DGT argues for a regulatory model such as that used by France for e-scooters. In 2020, France determined that drivers of all motorised vehicles must have at least liability insurance. If this is not the case, the fine in France can be up to €3,750. In Spain, this insurance obligation currently only applies to motorised transport that drives faster than 25 kilometres per hour. 

Woman died after being hit by an e-step 

Over the past three years, 800,000 e-scooters have been sold across Spain and an estimated 1,300 accidents have been recorded, according to figures from insurer Línea Directa Aseguradora. Last Wednesday things went horribly wrong when a 78-year-old woman in Lleida was killed when she was hit by a driver on an electric scooter while crossing the cycle path. 

The responsibility for the actual introduction of an insurance obligation for the e-scooter lies with the Ministry of Economy and Finance. This Ministry will have to determine whether insurance should be compulsory. Currently, drivers can already take out liability insurance for the e-scooter in Spain on their own initiative. 



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