On January 1st, 2020 e-scooters have been legalised in Italy. After some initial uncertainty and much discussion, the legislator decided to go the most straight-forward way by simply subjecting e-scooters to the same provisions applicable to bicycles. Let’s have a look at some of the most relevant ones:
E-scooters must be provided with a minimum equipment consisting of: front and back light (white and red), brakes, tyres. Unless a model has been specifically approved for carrying a passenger, e-scooters may only be used alone. A helmet is not required. In principle, e-scooters may be ridden on bicycle lanes… so good luck finding them!
All this applies to e-scooters up to 500W in power and not faster than 20 km per hour. Anything else, such as a hoverboards, electric skateboards or monowheels, are not affected by the described legalisation. These vehicles may therefore not be ridden on public roads except where single municipalities establish experimental areas where they can be used (as has for instance what happened in Bari).
Although some notable Italian cities might not be particularly suitable for this kind of vehicles (think of Venice with its constantly flooded roads or Rome’s streets, riddled with holes like a Swiss cheese) in many of them e-scooters could prove extremely useful especially because of the narrow, wrinkled streets not easily served by public transportation and because of the reasonable size of city-centers. Mild weather conditions also play in their favour: therefore, don’t be surprised if your next pizza delivery in Italy will arrive on an e-scooter!