The green light for the circulation of electric scooters also in Italian cities triggered a series of somewhat divergent reactions. The curiosity of those who have always wanted to dart effortlessly with the wind in their hair, for example, but also the jubilation of the operators ready to provide new sharing services, the desperation of pedestrians eager to keep their ankles intact and the interest of body builders who may have just found new, invaluable budding mirror killers. Of course, since this is an initial experimentation, the traffic rules still seem to be of very broad interpretation: pending the verdict of the Highway Code, therefore, we have decided to collect some small suggestions resulting from logic and experience, to develop a very first Electric scooter etiquette. To be consulted, memorized and put into practice in order not to transform the micro-mobility revolution into a catastrophic urban far west.
1. Better to avoid the sidewalk
In fact, the electric scooter, according to the micromobility decree, could also be used in areas reserved for pedestrians, as long as it is equipped with a speed regulator and that you do not proceed in these areas at more than 6 km / h. All very nice, but be careful, because doing the slalom between people like a vintage Alberto Tomba, albeit at a very low speed, the risk of getting hurt, tripping over a few feet or running over some distracted poodle remains very high. As far as possible, therefore, it is recommended to leave the sidewalk to pedestrians.
2. No surfing between cars
Being on a scooter that whizzes on the street at 20 km / h risks making us feel like a genius torn from skateboarding, worthy of overcoming various cars and scooters without any hesitation in a gymnastics to be won with pelvic strokes and elbowing. Spoiler: no, definitely not.
Just as it is important that other vehicles learn to respect those who travel by scooter, in the same way it is essential to behave in an irreproachable way when on the road. It is our safety and that of other people's mirrors.
3. Call for small groups
The progressive spread of scooters could soon generate potentially questionable customs phenomena such as hordes of colleagues who decide to move en masse to the office, or Saturday afternoon friends who colonize the city center on their wheels.
Beautiful, but the swarm effect in this case too could be a little dangerous. On the street it will probably be banned, as happens - at least on paper - for bicycles. In the cycle / pedestrian areas, however, we appeal to common sense.
4. The arrow, please
Reporting your movements when you are on the street, taught by the teachers from the very first safety lessons in elementary school, is essential. Not optional, not advisable, not all in all prudent. No, fundamental. Especially if you are on board a vehicle like the scooter that is still quite unknown.
So let's try to detach the arm from the handlebar for a second and to signal our possible turns to the right or left in advance. The management thanks.
5. Pay attention to the cobblestones
In many cities, such as Milan, Rome and Naples, the city center is embellished with road pavements that are decidedly more beautiful than ordinary asphalt. But also potentially less functional, comfortable and humane. Moral of the story? No, municipalities will not replace paving to make room for the new invasion of electric scooters.
So better arm yourself with common sense, avoid certain roads when possible and moderate your speed considerably. Destroying the scooter, and even more destroying the menisci and incisors, because of some vibration too many would seem rather silly.
6. No to wild parking
The great thing about free-flowing sharing services is that you can find and rent your vehicle anywhere. The slightly less fantastic thing about free-flow sharing services, however, is that you can park and leave your vehicle anywhere.
Moral: always remember that streets, sidewalks, pitches & co are not our personal storage room at home. Leaving a sharing scooter in front of an entrance door, or a centimeter clear from the door of an unfortunate car, for example, will make us a bad user. To be punished with more than deserved imprecations and macumbe of sorts.
7. Ask for permission politely
It is true, the electric scooter is mostly equipped with a bell that allows you to signal your presence while you are, for example, overtaking a bicycle or a family walking around with a cone.