Bulgarian Parliament adopts rules on electric scooter use

Bulgaria’s National Assembly passed at second reading on June 25 a bill of amendments to the Car Transport Act regulating the use of electric scooters in the country.

The amended law has a number of restrictions on electric scooters, most notably a ban on their use on streets and roads where the speed limit is above 50km/h, with the exception of such streets that have bicycle lanes.

Electric scooters must use bicycle lanes wherever possible, or otherwise stick as close to the right-hand boundary of the traffic lane. Similarly, electric scooters cannot be used on streets interdicted to bicycles, in bus lanes or pedestrian-only areas. Electric scooter drivers also are banned from carrying other people.

The law also stipulates a speed limit of 25km/h and drivers must always keep their hands on the handlebars, with provisions explicitly banning the use of mobile phones while driving an electric scooter or hanging on to another vehicle.

It also requires electric scooters not to move in “immediate proximity” to another vehicle, but does not define the required distance an electric scooter must keep.

In terms of age restrictions, the law sets a minimum age of 14 to use bicycle lanes – those younger can only use an electric scooters in park areas – and a minimum age of 16 is required to drive an electric scooters on streets. All drivers under 18 must use a helmet.

At night or when driving conditions are poor, electric scooter drivers are required to wear clothing with light-reflecting elements in order to make them easier to notice and must also drive with lights on. At all times, the electric scooter must have a functioning breaking system.

(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)

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