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From 1 January 2020 the circulation on the Italian roads of electric scooters has been approved and is out of the trial period but now to avoid chaos users need to respect the rules, already established by the decree of 4 June 2019 issued by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport and dedicated to the "Testing of the road circulation of devices for electric micro-mobility".
The Decree of 4 June 2019 was converted into law by the Official Gazette 162 of 12 July 2019 and the end of the experimentation period and the equation of electric scooters with bicycles were sanctioned by the Official Gazette of 30 December 2019.
The problem is that very few users and even very few journalists have taken the trouble to carefully read all the provisions of the legislation and so on the net today there are many inaccuracies and above all omissions which risk creating confusion and chaos as has already happened for the free floating pedal assisted bicycles.
So let's see in detail under what conditions and with what rules and limits it is possible to safely use electric scooters in our country.
Types of electrical micro-mobility devices defined by the decree of 4 June 2019
First of all, it is good to remember what are the types of electrical micro-mobility devices that had been identified and admitted to experimentation by the decree of 4 June 2019:
Scooters are devices NOT self-balanced that is, they need a stand to stay in vertical balance, unlike the other 3 devices (hoverboard, segway and monowheel) which are devices balanced.
I'm sure even older people won't struggle to understand what an (electric) scooter is. It is much more difficult for them to understand what the other 3 types of devices are, also considering that the legislator has decided to keep the names in English.
Scooters, hoverboards, segways and monowheels: photographs and characteristics
So let's see some photographs so as to clarify the idea of what each device is:
In this first photograph you see a electric scooter proposed by Xiaomi, a Chinese company among the market leaders.
The Xiaomi electric scooterIt is a folding electric scooter, with double brake system and a range of about 45 km, suitable for people weighing up to 100 kg.
The Xiaomi scooter has 3 selectable modes: Eco with a maximum speed of 15 km / h, Standard with a maximum speed of up to 25 km / h and Sport with a maximum speed of 25 km / h.
With regard to speed, it is very important to remember that the law just approved allows a maximum speed of 20 km / h so it will be necessary to use the "speed regulator" appropriately, which must be present on all electric scooters on the market or made available to rental from companies that have obtained a specific concession from the municipalities.
For more information, other images and for a possible online purchase you can visit this dedicated sheet on Amazon. Currently the proposed price is 469 Euros including VAT.
In this second image you see instead a hoverboard:
The Itekk hoverboard
It is a self-balanced speed accelerator proposed by the Itekk company with a range of 15 km that can reach a maximum speed of 15 km / h.
Also in this case the speed is higher than the maximum speed provided by the new law which is only 6 km / h. The user must therefore use his common sense not to exceed the limits set.
The Itekk hoverboard is suitable for people with a maximum weight of 120 kg.
More information, data sheet, photos and purchase options in this Amazon card. Currently the proposed price is 166.13 Euros including VAT.
In this third image you see instead a Segway:
Segway PT i2 SE
It is a vehicle that I had the pleasure of personally trying in California even in the 90s! It was thought of a rapid spread worldwide but the high cost has held back its success.
It certainly did not contribute to the commercial success that in 2010 the British tycoon had acquired the Segway manufacturer, Jimi Heselden, died when he fell off a cliff just as he was testing a new model.
In reality, the Segway is a very fun vehicle to use and easy to drive, also thanks to the technological improvements of the last 20 years. Today it can be seen as the protagonist of guided tours in the historic centers of some Italian cities or even as a vehicle used to distribute flyers and flyers of commercial activities that also buy advertising space on the vehicle.
Some Segways are also used by postmen of the Italian Post Office and by some police forces.
However, the problem of the very high cost remains: you can find it for sale on Amazon at 9,150 euros including VAT (!)
Recently there are also "reduced" and cheaper versions such as the Ninebot by Segway which you can find in the following image:
Segway by Ninebot
It is a device "halfway" between a hoverboard and a Segway with a much more accessible cost: 541.46 Euros on Amazon.
The last device contemplated by the legislator is the monowheel that you see in the following image:
Monowheel Inmotion V8
It is a device consisting of a single wheel to "ride" by placing your feet on the appropriate supports.
It has a range of 40 km and a maximum speed (in my opinion completely inappropriate) of 30 km / h. It goes without saying that in order to fall within the maximum speed limit of 6 km / h, users will have to pay great attention, responsibility and civic sense.
More information, more photos and links to buy on this Amazon tab.
Scooters, hoverboards, segways and monowheels: speed limits and where they can circulate under the new law
The great and important novelty of the law just approved is that of equating electric scooters with bicycles.
In fact, the text mentions: "Scooters that fall within the power and speed limits defined by the decree of the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport of 4 June 2019, published in the Official Gazette no. 162 of 12 July 2019, are equivalent to the cycles referred to in the Highway Code, as per legislative decree 30 April 1992, n. 285.”
For what concern Speed Limit, for scooters it is set at 20 km / h on roads and cycle paths, while it drops to 6 km / h in pedestrian areas.
The Segway is equated to an “intelligent” electric scooter so it can access the same roads with the same speed limits.
Hoverboards and Monowheels, on the other hand, can only circulate in pedestrian areas and only at speeds below 6 km / h. They CANNOT drive on any other type of road.
The Segway can travel in zones 30 and on roads with a speed limit of 30 km / h at one speed
Other rules to follow for electric scooters and other devices
Among other important rules established by law it is good to remember that everyone "Electric micro-mobility devices can only be operated by users who have reached the age of majority or, if minors, who hold at least a category AM license“.
In any case, the transport of passengers, things and any form of towing is prohibited.
Non self-balanced devices (scooters) must have an electric motor with a maximum rated power not exceeding 500W and must be equipped with an acoustic signal.
The users of all devices must maintain a regular trend, in relation to the context of circulation and must avoid abrupt maneuvers and acrobatics.
The helmet is not mandatory but strongly recommended.
After sunset up to half an hour before sunrise, the driver of self-balanced devices of the Segway type or non-self-balanced devices of the electric scooter type that circulate on roads falling within zone 30, on roads where there is a maximum speed limit of 30 km / h or on the cycle path are obliged to wear the high visibility reflective vest or braces, referred to in paragraph 4 -ter of art. 162 of the Highway Code.
New update: what the amendment of the Thousand Proroghe decree provides
About 2 weeks after the entry into force of the laws dedicated to electric scooters, an amendment was approved by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport which reformulates and supplements paragraph 75 of Law 160 2019 (the financial maneuver).
The maximum power of 0.50 Kw is thus fixed for all electric scooters and it is established that the speed must not exceed 25 Km / h.
Scooters with both electric and thermal motors with characteristics different from those established in terms of power and speed will not be able to circulate on the road or on the cycle paths or on the sidewalks.
The penalties provided for by the amendment follow an ad hoc tariff with fines ranging from 200 to 800 euros, in addition to the administrative confiscation of the vehicle.
Electric scooters will only be able to circulate on pedestrian areas, cycle and pedestrian paths, cycle paths and urban roads where a maximum speed limit of 30 km / h is in force.
Also in this context, offenders will be punished with fines ranging from 100 Euros to 400 Euros.
Italian electric scooter club on Facebook
For those interested in staying up to date on all the news relating to electric scooters, I would like to point out the Facebook group "Italian club of electric scooterWhich you can join by following this link.
The group is made up of enthusiasts and users, some with excellent preparation also as regards the details of the legislation. I take this opportunity to thank the members of the group who helped me in perfecting some of the contents of this article, in particular as regards the reference to "speed regulators" which at the moment seem to simply consist of the methods of using the scooter, made available by the manufacturers (throttle lever associated with the modes with maximum speeds provided by each mode) and not with actual speed limiters as I initially thought.
Opening image of this article by Alex Genz.