My license has been revoked and I have been banned from driving motor vehicles and mopeds, but can I drive an electric scooter? - Sagué Abogados penalistas
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My license has been revoked and I have been banned from driving motor vehicles and mopeds, but can I drive an electric scooter?

My license has been revoked and I have been banned from driving motor vehicles and mopeds, but can I drive an electric scooter?

The new forms of urban and personal mobility that have emerged in recent years in our cities have generated new legal issues that are becoming more and more frequent among users.

If I have been convicted of a crime against road safety and sentenced to a ban on driving motor vehicles and mopeds, can I drive an electric scooter?

What is meant by “moped” in the new forms of mobility?

Article 384 of the Penal Code does not define it, and therefore, we will have to resort to a regulation with the rank of Law that provides certainty to the issue.

In this regard, since there are no specific Spanish regulations governing this matter, we must resort to the Community regulations, specifically, the European Union Regulation No. 168/2013 concerning the type-approval of two- or three-wheeled vehicles and quadricycles, directly applicable in Spain since January 1, 2016, which establishes the following definition of “moped” (Article 4):

Two-wheeled vehiclewith a maximum speed per construction not exceeding 45 km/h and with an engine with a displacement less than or equal to 50 cm3, if it is an internal combustion engine, or with a maximum continuous power rating of not more than 4 kW if it has an electric motor.

Thus, according to said Regulation, if the “electric scooter” complies with these requirements, it will be considered a moped, and therefore, its driving will require a license, mandatory insurance, and the corresponding registration of the vehicle. In this case, therefore, if we do not have a driver’s license because it has been withdrawn due to a court decision, or because we have run out of points, or because we have never had it, we will not be able to drive the “electric scooter” that meets the above characteristics.

Thus, it is extremely important to know the technical characteristics of our “electric scooter” in order to clarify whether it is really considered a moped and, therefore, its driving infringes the driving prohibition imposed by the Court.

Based on the foregoing, and despite the fact that the instructions of the Directorate General of Traffic (DGT) do not have the status of Law and cannot be considered legal rules, it is relevant to add that the DGT considers that Personal Mobility Vehicles (hereinafter PMVs) are outside the scope of the above-mentioned European Regulation. and, therefore, the VMP user cannot be required to have a driving license or permit, nor the corresponding compulsory insurance.

But what is considered a Personal Mobility Vehicle?

The DGT defines it as“a vehicle with one or more wheels equipped with a single seat and propelled exclusively by electric motors that can provide the vehicle with a maximum design speed of between 6 and 25 km/h”.

And the General Traffic Regulations add that they can only be equipped with a seat or saddle if they are equipped with a self-balancing system“.

Thus, we could conclude that if the “electric scooter” meets the technical characteristics to be considered a VMP, it can be driven without the corresponding license, or with the license withdrawn.

And in the event that, in spite of driving a VMP, it is considered by the Police that the user is violating the driving prohibition, in the corresponding legal proceeding. we must demand an expert opinion on the “electric scooter”. The technical characteristics of the vehicle in question must be determined in order to determine its width and length, engine power, specific maximum speed and, in short, any other specific and concrete technical data to determine whether its technical characteristics place it in one category or another.

As you can see, this is a very controversial and uncertain issue in our Courts, so until a specific regulation is developed, we must be extremely cautious when making decisions in this area.