Electric scooters are all the rage in Barcelona. The city is filled with these kinds of vehicles lately because of how convenient they are for short distance travel but they are also considered very dangerous for both their riders as well as the other users of the road if the traffic rules are not followed.
Electric scooters are part of what are categorized as "Personal Mobility Vehicles" which are divided in 4 types:
Electric scooters, one and two wheel vehicles (hoverboards) that can reach speeds up to 25 km/h and weigh a maximum of 25 kg.
Segway or electric scooters up to 50kg.
Bikes with more than 2 wheels destined for the transportation of people.
Bikes with more than 2 wheels destined for the transportation of goods.
Up until recently there was a lot of confusion regarding the rules that govern these types of vehicles but the Ajuntament de Barcelona has finally made an official regulation regarding them so here it is what you are allowed to do and what not:
Where to ride?
On the sidewalk
It is prohibited to circulate on the sidewalk with the exception of the C2 vehicles when loading and unloading goods in case that the sidewalk is more than 4,75 m wide and has more than 3 m of free space.
Pedestrian Priority Zones
If the platform is reserved for pedestrians only the A and C2 vehicles can circulate at a maximum speed of 10 km/h.
If the platform is shared with other vehicles such as cars the B and C1 PMVs can circulate at a maximum speed of 20 km/h.
Bike lane on the sidewalk
All PMVs are allowed to ride on these kinds of lanes at a maximum speed of 10 km/h and always respecting the direction of the way and obeying the traffic rules and signals.
Bike lane on the road
All PMVs are allowed to ride on these kinds of lanes at a maximum speed of 30 km/h and always respecting the direction of the way and obeying the traffic rules and signals.
It is obligatory to slow down near zebra crossings and to take any necessary measures in order to avoid dangerous situations with pedestrians.
Pedestrians have priority at all times.
30 km/h Lanes
B, C1 and C2 vehicles are allowed to circulate on these lanes at a maximum speed of 30 km/h and always following the direction of the road.
A type vehicles are only allowed if the maximum speed of the vehicle is above 20 km/h.
Normal car lanes
Only C1 and C2 PMVs are allowed to circulate in these lanes.
Only A and B vehicles are allowed to circulate in park areas at a maximum speed of 10 km/h always respecting the priority of the pedestrians while C2 PMVs can circulate in park areas when they are going to a destination to load/unload goods.
Where to park?
Always park your scooter in an area designated to such functions. Never where it can block the path to other users or near traffic lights, trees, benches or areas reserved for other users of the road.
Do I need insurance?
Having insurance is not obligatory if it's for personal use but it is highly recommended.