Scoot by the rules

Love the convenience of hopping on an e-scooter? Well it could land you on the wrong side of the law. With a lot of confusion about what the regulations are, we collect the five golden rules to scoot by to stay safe - and avoid a fine!

Photo by Iryna Sylinnyk. Five golden rules to scoot by.

Photo by Iryna Sylinnyk. Avoid a fine with these five golden e-scooter rules.

Hopping on a scooter is bound to attract you a good deal of hatred no matter what you do, but for the sake of safety and avoiding fines, here are the five golden rules to scoot by.

1 What would a list of German rules be without at least one ridiculously long word? Radwegbenutzungspflicht means scooters have to use bike lanes wherever available. Otherwise, you’re expected to share streets with cars, not with pedestrians. In short, sidewalks are off limit, as well as bus lanes (technically also true for bikes). Get caught on either and you’ll be fined €15-30.

2 There’s plenty of tandem scooting going on, but that, too, is illegal. Give your friend a lift and the two of you might end up having to split an – arguably mild – €10 fine. The message is: scooting is a solitary pleasure, so don’t even think of scooting side by side with said friend because that will cost youup to €30.

3 The legal minimum age forriding a scooter is technically 14 (and practically 18 because the apps won’t accept underage users). If you let your 6-year-old scoot away, be prepared to cough up €10.

4 Wanna head home after aboozy night out? Think twice before unlocking that e-ride: the fine for driving with a blood alcohol level above 0.5 (or above zero for under 20s) is €500. Your licence will also be confiscated fora month and you’ll get two of the precious Flensburg points (collect eight and loseyour permit for good). Other drugs are equally verboten, and scooting under the influence could even land you in court.

5 Finally, if something’s not legal for drivers or cyclists, it’s also off-limits for scooters. So using your phone or ignoring traffic lights will cost you anywhere between €100-180!