Electric scooters and hoverboards: A new category for the Highway Code
More and more people are choosing electric scooters or one-wheeled vehicles to travel light and make getting around more enjoyable. Sales of these convenient, fun and eco-friendly options are booming and the Highway Code is taking them seriously. This article takes stock of the micromobility landscape so you can be informed about personal mobility devices. What are they? What equipment is involved? How do they fit in with road traffic?
Children’s toys adapted to grown-up needs
Scooters were originally designed for kids. As for hoverboards, one might suspect they were created for fans of “Back to the future”. However, today they have become popular due to the advantages of these modes of travel, adults are adopting them en masse.
These electric microvehicles are less cumbersome and less costly than a bicycle and they offer the added benefit of being highly manoeuvrable and easy to steer through any space. During the work week, commuters are using them for quick, unimpeded travel to get to the train station or slip between lanes of cars. At the weekend, their fun side comes out as teens borrow them to meet up with their pals or parents glide alongside their children.
Scooters, hoverboards, one-wheeled vehicles… what are they?
At the start of 2021, the Luxembourger Highway Code was updated to reflect changes in alternative forms of mobility (soft mobility). Now there is a framework for the freedom given by these new means of transport. The added provisions are founded on the distinction between two categories of vehicles: electric microvehicles and personal mobility devices.
An electric microvehicle (or micromobility) refers to small electric devices with at least one wheel, with or without a seat, that are designed for one person. Examples include electric scooters, hoverboards (or electric skateboards) and one- or two-wheeled self-balancing transporters.
As for personal mobility devices, they include traditional skateboards, children’s bicycles and non-electric scooters.
Depending on which of these two vehicle categories you choose, you will not be subject to the same equipment requirements, nor will you be able to ride them in the same places. To sum it up, it could be said that the Highway Code likens microvehicles to bicycles and personal mobility devices to pedestrians.
What rules apply to personal mobility devices?
For non-electric skateboards and scooters, the Highway Code allows them to go everywhere that pedestrians can usually go. You can ride them on sidewalks and in pedestrian-only areas. The only condition is that you adapt to the pedestrian context and ride at the same pace as those moving on foot, at a speed lower than 6km/h.
For children’s bicycles, the same rule applies: of course your little ones are entitled to pedestrian areas. However, as they grow up, they will transition to bicycle paths and roadways. They are authorised to ride in traffic from the age of 10 and required to do so from age 13.
Just as pedestrians move freely, the Highway Code contains no specific obligations as regards lighting or equipment for personal mobility devices. Nevertheless, caution dictates that you use a bell and helmet and that you make yourself visible to others.
Install suitable equipment on a microvehicle to move with road traffic
The speed of microvehicles ranges from 6 to 25 km/h. As a result, you should avoid pedestrian areas and must behave as if you are on a bicycle. Your electric scooter or your single-wheel vehicle will travel on bicycle paths and in the absence of a dedicated path, on the normal roadways. Exception: Riders under the age of 11 years old can use pedestrian footpaths, but must take care not to disturb other users.
As you are intermingling with traffic, it is critical that you have equipment to ensure you are seen and heard by other users. To abide by the Highway Code, you will have an audible warning device and lighting: white in front and red in the back. These lights must not blink or flash and they should be on both day and night. You can replace the red rear light with a similar indicator on the back of your helmet or worn on your back. The Highway Code also requires that your electric microvehicle should be equipped with one brake (for single-wheeled vehicles) or at least two brakes acting on two wheels for multi-wheeled vehicles.
|Personal mobility devices||Electric microvehicles|
|What are they?||Children’s bicycles|
|Electric scooters |
One-wheeled self-balancing transporters
Hoverboards (electric skateboards)
Two-wheeled self-balancing transporters
|Speed||Less than 6 km/h||Between 6 and 25 km/h|
|Where can they go?||Pedestrian footpaths and other pedestrian areas||Bicycle paths and roadways|
|Required equipment||None required |
Helmet and audible warning device recommended
| Front and rear lamps |
Audible warning device
What about children? From age 10 it is allowed, and from age 13 it is required that riders use paths and lanes designated for bicycles or roadways.
Is there dedicated insurance?
At Foyer, there are two solutions you can add to your motor and/or home insurance:
- To compensate for bodily injury in the event of an accident, you may choose between the “Driver injury insurance (conducteur protégé) “ which is an option of your motor insurance policy, in which case only the drivers named in the policy will be covered across all modes of travel (including electric scooters and other single-wheeled vehicles), or the “Accidents in your private life” which is an option of your mozaïk home insurance, in which case, all household members (including minors) living in the same home can be protected (under a family profile).
- To insure the vehicle itself, Foyer offers “Leisure and assistance items” coverage with mozaik home insurance. It covers all your alternative forms of mobility devices against theft, breakage, impact and fall.