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EUC riding restrictions in Germany, Austria, France, Spain, Portugal and Italy


hal2000
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Dear Fellow Unicyclists,

Soon I may be visiting some of the countries mentioned in the topic and since I am taking my KS along I will be gratefull for general overview of any restrictions/regulations you may know of regarding riding there.

I have spotted some information in different parts of this forum but some of it seems outdated and aome dilluted/not very precise or contradictory.

I am interested both in cities and smaller towns/rural areas. If and how the police treats/reacts/approaches you. Are there any unwritten EUC rules and practices? Obligatory safety equipment maybe?

In return I am glad to share the EUC status quo here in Poland: Although not regulated by law (when you're riding you are actually considered a pedestrian), at the moment the EUCs seem to be accepted both in cities and in the country. Some guidelines have been issued fot the police to act according to the circumstances. So if you do not disrespect and do not pose danger to pedestrians, cyclists, general traffic, etc. the police should ignore you. Of course insurance and safety gear is always advisible but I have never been or witnessed any riders being stopped to check/verify that.

Thanks for any information regarding the above in your countries or in the countries you have ridden in. Cheers!

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Check out this video by Eddie Moy on YouTube: 

 

Riding in any US states backed by ADA (American Disability Act) Title III. I wonder if this is a real good or legitimate defense. It seems to base on 3 premises: 1) You are "disabled",  2) You don't have to disclose any medical information and 3) No proof is needed. So if you are really cited by the cop and end up in court, would these premises still hold? I tend to think not. But again, I don't think in most cases that it's likely going to end up in court. Got to somehow put this Title III to the fire...anyone wants to try!

Edited by scubadragosan
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  • 2 months later...

@hal2000 This might come too late and maybe you've already come and gone home, but I'll post anyway so even if it's too late to be of use to you, it can be helpful to anyone else who drops by this thread.

In Spain it's mostly unregulated on a national level. They can't quite figure out what to do with us, as EUCs don't fit the description of motorised vehicles, but aren't considered pedestrians either, so the one and only thing that's nation-wide is the prohibition of riding on the sidewalk. Beyond that, the law says that we can ride on the road in any town that has passed legislation allowing us to do so (which is a royal pain in the ass because EVERY TOWN can have a different set of regulations...). Most towns don't have any kind of Personal Mobility Vehicle regulations (that's what the law considers EUCs), so it's a grey area, and for the most part, the police ignore you. In larger cities, regulations are being put in place.

In major cities EUCs are pretty screwed: In Barcelona & Madrid we can only ride in bike lanes or roads where the max. speed is 30 km/h; not on sidewalks, not on any other roads (ironic considering that both cities have left-leaning, environmentalist mayors). Then, beyond that, more specifically, in these two cities:

  • In Madrid you can't go over 20 km/h, and if you ride on the road (only on the roads mentioned before), you have to have a bell and lights.
  • In Barcelona the max. speed is 30 km/h on bike lanes that are on the road, and 10 km/h for bike lanes on the sidewalk; you can also ride in parks and on pedestrian-only streets at a max. speed of 10 km/h. No lights or bells required. Fines for infringing the regulations go from 100-500€ (in the case of speeding, unless your speed is measured with a radar, which is highly unlikely, it'll depend on the cop who stops you and the mood they're in...)

It's even tougher in Valencia and Murcia:

  • In Valencia we're only allowed on bike lanes and max. speed is 15 km/h (fines go from 90€ for riding on the sidewalk to 500€ for riding on the road).
  • In Murcia you're only allowed to ride on the sidewalk and can't go over 5 km/h.

Helmet and insurance aren't required anywhere.

So, in short...it's a mess (you have to know the specific rules for each city). Outside big cities though...as long as you don't ride on the sidewalk, I don't think you should have any problems, and even if you do ride on the sidewalk, most cops don't know what the law is anyway, so as long as you're not riding recklessly or putting anyone in danger, you should be fine, especially if you're a tourist and tell them you didn't have a clue (since neither do they...)

P.S. @hal2000 If you did visit Spain and rode your wheel here, what was your experience? (and I hope you had a great trip!)

 

Edited by travsformation
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1 hour ago, Mono said:

There is already a long thread on this, Google is your friend, using the "site:..." syntax may help as well.

Thanks! Found "EUC friendly countries" and "Personal Light Electric Vehicle regulations (PLEV)", will copy-paste the above info there! :)

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