First communion electric scooter? You can break the law!

The 2022 communion season is slowly coming to an end. The vast majority of children who were to receive the Sacrament of First Communion this year did so in May. Why, then, is the article of such content published at this time, when the children’s day and the communion season are already behind us? We are addressing it, first of all, to parents of children with electric scooters. Since the regulations governing the use of scooters are both relatively recent and ambiguous in some respects, it is worth familiarizing yourself with their content. Yes, many publications have already been written on this subject, both on the Internet and in traditional media, so we do not intend to duplicate their wording. We will only focus on one specific aspect, namely the use of electric scooters by children.

Although at first glance it may seem that the electric scooter is a very universal gift, although a bit expensive, entrusting it to a child involves a number of obligations that must be fulfilled in the first place by the parents. It is up to the parents whether the child will use the scooter in a safe way for himself and other road users. It is absolutely necessary to remember that the scooters offered in Poland can travel at a maximum speed of 20 kilometers per hour. This is enough to expose the young organism to serious injury in the event of an accident. We don’t even mention critical situations such as contact with a speeding car. These can end up just as bad whether we move by bike, on foot or with an electric scooter. In this file, we will try to dispel an important doubt related to the use of an electric scooter by children. Without prolonging it, let’s go to the bottom.

When using an electric scooter, remember to put it back in its place.

Electric scooter – how many years can you use it?

This question comes up very often, especially at the moment, in the context of First Communion and Children’s Day gifts. It will also return in a few weeks, at the end of the school year and some parents will certainly decide to honor their children for their learning progress. For how many years can the electric scooter be used? As a rule, there is no age limit from which the electric scooter can be used. Nothing prevents the child from riding a scooter in the driveway of the house or in the paths of the park (of course, unless the regulations of a specific park or recreation area prohibit it). You just need to make sure your child can drive safely in the area. Restrictions only apply to driving an electric scooter in road traffic. These, in principle, are exactly like riding a bicycle. You cannot travel on the sidewalk, road or bike path on an electric scooter before the age of 18. This ban can be circumvented by obtaining the appropriate qualifications – a cycle card or a category AM, A1, B1 or T driving licence. You can become a cycle card holder from the age of 10, which means that a 10-year-old, after obtaining this permission, can drive an electric scooter also in road traffic (of course, according to regulations).

There is also an exception to the rule that you turn 18 or acquire any of the required rights. We are talking about residential area where a child can ride an electric scooter even if he is under 10 years old and does not have a bicycle license. However, the law requires that driving be done under adult supervision.

In light of the above, is an electric scooter a good First Communion or Children’s Day gift? Absolutely, as long as we are aware of the legal restrictions on its use. I honestly admit that even if they weren’t there, I wouldn’t decide to allow the child to drive independently on the road or on the sidewalk. I live in a residential area and on a daily basis I observe the speed at which some drivers move there (the order to drive at a speed of 20 km/h is practically not respected at all). The order to give way to pedestrians is also not respected. Such a space, even if marked with the required signs, is unlikely to be a safe place for a child.

To summarize, Even if the law authorizes the use of the electric scooter by a child in a given place, it is always necessary to use common sense. Not everything allowed is safe.

Electric scooter speed limit – how does it work in practice?

Another of the recurring doubts related to the use of an electric scooter is the question of the speed limit. It is well known that some scooters are equipped with electric motors capable of driving much faster than the prescribed 20 kilometers per hour. Is it possible to ride on Polish roads with such a scooter, given the current regulations? Generally, yes.

First, the design speed limit requirement only applies to electric scooters launched in 2022 (and beyond). For this reason, many scooters in stores are labeled as model 2021 etc Such a scooter will not be equipped with a speed limiter. That doesn’t mean, however, that you don’t have to follow the rules when riding it. These apply to all road users equally, so if a given e-scooter does not have a 20 kilometer per hour limit, its user should be careful not to go any faster.

Newer scooters also often have the option of removing the speed limit. However, the producers expressly reserve that this mode can only be used outside the space in which traffic takes place. Although our scooter can easily go even at 70 kilometers per hour on the ground, we have an absolute obligation to respect the speed limit on a public road. Above all, this also applies to the pavement. Riding an electric scooter on the sidewalk is necessary to adjust the speed to the speed of the pedestrian, that is, plus or minus 5 kilometers per hour. In addition, pedestrians have priority on the sidewalk, which is worth remembering.

Are electric scooters safe for children (and not only)?

Now is the time to answer the next very important question about using the electric scooter. Is the electric scooter a safe device for a child? What is the risk of the user of the electric scooter? Unfortunately, there is no clear answer to this question. Indeed, the safety of an electric scooter driver, just like a bicycle or rollerblades, largely depends on himself. What can we do to increase them? In the case of children, it will be necessary to have a solid education and to make sure, before returning the scooter to the use of a scooter, that our child knows the rules of road traffic and can drive the scooter with sufficient precision and confidence to be able to ride, among other things, and, what is very important, not to capsize while driving. In the case of younger scooter users, the problem of adequate equipment increasing driving safety remains particularly important. A helmet should be considered absolutely essential. Protectors for other parts of the body – at the discretion of the parents.

Whether the electric scooter is used by an adult or a child, it is necessary to check its technical condition every time, especially if it is to be used in road traffic. Before each ride, make sure the scooter has working brakes, is stable and the lights are working. Of course, the weather conditions outside should also be taken into account. Apart from the issue of commuting to work, university, etc., riding on wet surfaces, even in the rain, will not only be much less pleasant, but also significantly less safe.

Traveling with an electric scooter can be very pleasant

What should you still remember before getting on the electric scooter or entrusting it to a child? For example, on such obvious and prosaic questions as whether his battery has been charged to a degree that will ensure arrival at his destination and return to his place of departure.

Riding an electric scooter has become very fashionable in recent years. No wonder, because the scooter is not only a fast and convenient means of personal transport, but riding it can also be a lot of fun, especially on a hot summer day. Anyone can ride it, as long as they know how. All you need is a minimum knowledge of safety and the highway code to enjoy the pleasure of driving this small electric vehicle. It only remains to wish everyone, current and future owners of an electric scooter, that driving will always be a pleasure and leave only pleasant memories.

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