To avoid accidents or significant fines from traffic police, here are some tips to keep in mind when riding an electric scooter.
People riding electric scooters must observe similar traffic rules that are applicable for cars
The electric scooter is definitely a fast and easy means of transportation. In addition, in the crowed traffic of Bucharest, it can be an alternative to using personal car or classic public transport. And what’s more, it’s also environmentally friendly. However, be sure to ride it carefully and avoid moving vehicles, as well as cyclists or pedestrians on cycle paths.
Also, pay attention to the traffic lights, because, just like cars, electric scooters are not allowed to go through a red light. So you will always have to stop at the red light and wait until it turns green before you start moving.
As far as the traffic rules are concerned, it is mandatory to respect them even when riding an electric scooter. Otherwise, you’ll risk fines, but you’ll also put your life at risk. Thus, when riding an electric scooter in Bucharest, make sure you comply with the following rules:
You are at least 14 years old
As per the Romanian law, electric scooters can be used in Bucharest only by people 14 years of age, or older. In case you didn’t know, this rule is also applicable for bicycles. Therefore, someone who is not yet of the legal age, should refrain from using both a scooter and a bicycle on public roads, even if they are accompanied by adults. For not complying, police officers can apply fines between 870 and 1,200 lei.
You ride only on bicycle lanes, or only on public roads inside localities
Electric scooters can only be used on bicycle lanes (that road part which is separated by a line from the rest of the road, for the use of people riding bicycles). Where bicycle lanes do not exist, they can only be used on roads inside localities. The Romanian Traffic Code currently establishes that electric scooters can be used “only on road sectors where the maximum speed allowed for vehicle traffic is 50 km/h”.
Even more important, you have to know that electric scooters cannot be used on sidewalks. So, unless there is a bicycle lane on that sidewalk, you are not allowed to ride it with the scooter.
Also, when walking or crossing the street (on pedestrian crossings), do not forget to get off the scooter.
Use protective head helmets and don’t take passengers
Also, young people under the age of 16 must always wear protective head helmet when riding electric scooters. Bear in mind that the electric scooter can only be used for transporting one person. Which means that you are not allowed to take passengers on a scooter.
Although this is an important rules established by the law, I very often see many young people using scooters in pairs. Apart from risking significant fines, this is an irresponsible behavior.
Your scooter must be equipped with necessary lights if you ride it in the evening
Always remember that electric scooters must be equipped in the same way as bicycles and mopeds for riding at night. Thus, if you ride a scooter in the evening or at night, you must always have it equipped with necessary lighting means and reflective-fluorescent devices.
So, to keep safe, but also to avoid trouble with police, always keep in mind to observe the rules described above. In addition to the ones above, try to comply also with the following, which are always applicable:
Additional tips to enjoy an electric scooter ride in Bucharest
Always check the battery level
Generally electric scooters have an average range of 30 km, with a maximum speed of 25 km/h. If you notice that the scooter’s battery is low, avoid using it. When you ride an unloaded e-scooter, you put a lot of stress on it, especially if you’re going at full speed.
Avoid speeding too much
When riding an electric scooter, you should avoid going faster than 20 km/h. If you go faster than 20 km/h, you can damage the scooter and you could even end up injuring yourself. Electric scooters are limited to 20 -25 km/h, depending on the model.
Don’t forget to park your electric scooter regularly
Electric scooters are great for short trips, but if you want to cover longer distances, you’ll need to find a suitable parking space. Make sure you don’t leave the vehicle haphazardly. Try as much as possible to leave it in a designated area when you’re done using the electric scooter.
How can you rent an electric scooter in Bucharest?
To rent an electric scooter in Bucharest, the procedure is quite simple. You only need a smartphone and a loaded bank card. Every company that offers the possibility of renting scooters has an application that can be downloaded on both iOS and Android.
Once the app is downloaded to your mobile phone, it is easy to use. This actually consists of a map, where you will be able to see the available electric scooters, in real time. You just have to go to the nearest scooter and scan a barcode found on its display. Once you reach your destination, you will need to complete the race in the app. You will then receive a trip report and the total amount you have to pay.
How much do they cost?
You can find electric scooters almost anywhere in Bucharest. If you look hard enough, you’ll find them both in parks and along main boulevards.
- Bolt – mostly found in the central and northern area of Bucharest. Unlocking the scooter costs 0 lei, and the fare for the ride costs 0.4 lei/minute;
- Wolf-e – found in Sector 1, center, Pipera and north. Unlocking costs 2 lei, and riding 0.5 lei/minute;
- Flow – are found in Sector 1, center, north and Lujerului area. Unlocking costs 2 lei, and riding 0.6 lei/minute;
- Lime – they can be found everywhere in Bucharest, but they can only be parked in the central area. Unlocking costs 3 lei, and riding 0.6 lei/minute;
- Melc – are found only in the northern area: Băneasa – Aviatorilor towards the Centre. Unlocking costs 2.5 lei, and riding 0.5 lei/minute;
- Splash – they are found throughout the central area, up to the northern office area (Pipera + Voluntari). Unlocking costs 3 lei, and riding 0.5 lei/minute.
Electric scooters are completely safe to ride, if you always comply with safety rules. They are built to withstand extreme weather conditions and high speeds. However, you must still obey the traffic laws. Make sure you don’t ride on sidewalks, only in alignment on public roads and on bike lanes.