We love these modern day scooters, these little electric scooters that allow you to whizz about town with not a care in the world. And, with electric scooters now legal to hire in London and the drive for outdoor transport greater than ever thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, this is one trend that isn’t going anywhere soon.
But what is the etiquette? Yes there are rules, well not actual rules but a set of guidelines everyone should follow should you choose to scoot you way around town. We’ll cover bike lanes, blocking doorways and bell ringing. We’ll school you on ankle-clipping, commute-zipping and round-the-corner-nipping. There’s no time to waste, so whip out your app, buckle up your helmet, place both feet firmly on the platform — and let’s get a scoot on.
Watch my F**king Ankles…
They may not rule the road, but neither should scooters rule over the pavement. Love them or hate them, scooters look like they’re here to stay, and we must learn to live peacefully alongside.
Depending on where you are, different Departments of Transportation have different rules about electric scooters. Your usual guidelines, however, are as follows: scoot on the pavement if you must, but try to use the road when you can, zipping along where you would if you were riding a bicycle. Bike lanes themselves are a good option, but watch out for short-tempered cyclists who don’t enjoy being overtaken by people with wheels that small.
And if you’re committed to braving the pavement, just watch out for ankles. No-one wants to be clipped on the lower leg by a scooting. And, even if it is a busy day, you’ve got a bell for a reason; and a demanding ‘ding’ is infinitely preferable to a shattered fibula.
Check your speed!
Of course, your speed feeds directly into the above problem and will likely determine where you should be scooting in the first place. Many cities ask that scooterers…scootists? Follow the speed limits that cars must adhere to. For the most part, this means that you shouldn’t whizz along above 35mph; around the top speed for most electric scooters.
If you are pushing the upper limit of your battery-powered scooter, you should obviously stay on the road. Nothing is more likely to infuriate a pedestrian than a scooter tearing past open doorways and busy bus stops at the same speed as a motorcycle. Wherever you decide to ride, just be wary of other pedestrians or motorists.
Don’t be an idiot, wear a helmet
Unlike the people in the images accompanying this feature wear a god damn helmet. You wouldn’t get on a bicycle without buckling a helmet to your head, so quite why you’d trust your talents more so on a scooter is beyond us. For the simple sake of safety, strap on a helmet, download every colourful micro-mobility app under the sun and happy scooting!