Rules and Regulations for Light Personal Electric Vehicles (L.P.E.V.) in Greece (e-scooters etc)
We have all noticed, especially in recent years, the ever-increasing circulation of new means of personal transportation. The older tripartite car-motorcycle-bicycle has gradually become a thing of the past, since the options for facilitating our movement are now varied: e-scooters, rollers, e-skateboards, hoverboards, etc., but also electric wheelchairs for people with disabilities. But how are all these original and useful, but possibly unknown and perhaps even dangerous means of transportation regulated by the Greek legal system?
But what is exactly a “Light Personal Electric Vehicle”?
According to Article 2 of the Greek Road Traffic Code, L.2696/1999, as amended and in force, a “Light Personal Electric Vehicle” is defined as the vehicle that moves with an electric motor and does not fall under the scope of European Regulations 858/2018/EU, 168/2013/EU, and Directives 2009/48/EC and 2007/46/EC. These vehicles include the following that are driven by an electric motor:
- a) e-scooters
- b) rollers and skateboards
- c) self-balancing personal vehicles i.e. motorized unicycles or motorized two-wheeled dual-track vehicles, which rely on intrinsically unstable balance and need an auxiliary control system to maintain their balance
- d) L.P.E.V. that do not fall under any of the previous categories, which include electric wheelchairs for disabled people, reinforced and simple, scooters and handbikes for disabled people.
The L.P.E.V. are also divided into two categories, according to their designed maximum speed:
- aa) vehicles whose designed maximum speed does not exceed 6 km/h. These vehicles are considered and circulate as pedestrians,
- ab) vehicles whose maximum design speed exceeds 6 km/h but does not exceed 25 km/h. These are considered and circulate as bicycles, thus subject to the rules of marking and signaling and the requirements of bicycles, unless otherwise specified in the individual articles of the relevant regulations.
Rights and Obligations of the owners and drivers of L.P.E.V.
1. Age limits
– the driver of an L.P.E.V. that cannot exceed 6 km/h must have reached the age of twelve (12) years
– the driver of an L.P.E.V. that can move up to 25 km/h must have reached the age of fifteen (15) years
2. Speed limits
The maximum permitted speed limit set by the Greek Road Traffic Code for L.P.E.V. is set at 25 km/h. In addition, the L.P.E.V. are forbidden to circulate on roads where the maximum permitted speed limit exceeds 50 km/h.
3. Rules for the circulation of the L.P.E.V. on the road and pavement
– It is prohibited for two or more L.P.E.V. to move parallel or in pairs,
– On roads with a special traffic lane for the movement of bicycles or mopeds, it is prohibited for L.P.E.V., to use the rest of the road lanes,
– In those cases where the movement of L.P.E.V. is allowed in areas where pedestrians circulate, they should move at the same speed with the pedestrians, without hindering them, and are always obliged to give them priority, or
– When it is possible that an obstacle or danger will be created for pedestrian traffic, the drivers of L.P.E.V. are obliged to get off them and continue on foot, keeping their L.P.E.V. beside them.
4. Are they allowed to carry loads and other people and be towed by another vehicle?
The drivers of e-scooters and all L.P.E.V. (as well as mopeds, motorcycles, three-wheeled vehicles) are prohibited to:
a) be towed by another vehicle
b) tow or push various objects
c) transport objects that hinder their drivability or expose other road users to danger
d) drag animals tied with a leash,
e) carry passengers on their vehicles.
5. Use of cell phone and headphones while driving
The drivers of L.P.E.V.:
– are prohibited to use headphones connected to portable radios, tape recorders and other similar audio devices while in motion. This provision excludes hands-free headphones and headsets of portable radio communication devices, which are used for short-distance communication between the drivers of bicycles, mopeds, motorcycles and L.P.E.V. or between the drivers of such vehicles and base stations or other mobile radio network stations,
– are prohibited to use a mobile phone while driving, which is not placed in a special position for hands-free (open volume) listening and speaking
– are obliged, when driving, to hold the steering wheel (if present) with both hands, unless they give a signal (e.g. to change direction) in accordance with the provisions of the Greek Road Traffic Code.
6. Equipment and safety measures
– The drivers of L.P.E.V. are required to wear reflective clothing or other reflective equipment at night that makes them visible from all directions,
– The drivers of L.P.E.V. with a maximum speed of 25 km/h they are required to wear an approved type of protective helmet, properly fastened. Drivers of special electric wheelchairs, scooters and handbikes for disabled people are excluded.
– L.P.E.V. vehicles must be equipped with an easy-to-use, immediate and effective braking system.
7. Lights and warning signs
The L.P.E.V. must be equipped with:
a) a sound warning device (horn)
b) one (1) white or yellow light in front and one (1) red light and reflector behind, and at least one (1) reflector on each side
However, e-scooters and all L.P.E.V. are not required to have direction change indicators.
Electric wheelchairs, scooters and handbikes for people with disabilities are exempt from the obligation to carry the above lights, as long as they do not circulate at night.
What does the future hold for us?
It is noteworthy that a Decision of the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport is awaited, in order to determine the procedures for regulating the maximum design speed of e-scooters and L.P.E.V. in general, the technical specifications of the above vehicles, in addition to what is defined in the Road Traffic Code and other regulations, the requirements and their certification process, as well as any other relevant details. Furthermore, with a joint decision of the Ministers of Infrastructure and Transport and Development and Investments, the matters of CE marking of the L.P.E.V. and market surveillance issues, as well as the terms and conditions of operation of the rental companies and providers of L.P.E.V., are to be regulated. Finally, it is pointed out that there is still no talk of the institution of compulsory third-party liability insurance for the e-scooters or any L.P.E.V.
It is clear that owning and driving an e-scooter or any L.P.E.V. in general raises the obligation to follow certain driving behavior rules, in order to protect the driver himself and those around him. Full and correct information and compliance with these rules is the key to ensuring safe and comfortable travel.
At the online address https://www.yme.gov.gr/metafores/odiki-kykloforia-kai-asfaleia/draseis-kai-energeies-gia-tin-proothisi-tis-odikis-asfaleias/item/9134-entypo-enimerotiko-yliko-gia-tous-kanones-kykloforias-podilaton-kai-e-p-i-o , by selecting the field “L.P.E.V.” you can find the relevant information brochure of the Greek Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport for e-scooters and L.P.E.V.