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Tenerife, one of Spain’s top holiday hotspots, is set to introduce new rules for people using electric scooters. Tourists could face fines of up to £2,600 for breaking the new laws.
The Santa Cruz Council in Tenerife has approved a new Mobility and Road Safety order which regulates the use of electric scooters.
The new rules will apply to privately owned scooters, companies that rent the scooters and guided tours.
Under the new guidelines, people won’t be able to use electric scooters on pavements or in pedestrianised areas.
Riders will need to get off the scooters and walk with them or they could face a fine ranging from 1,500 to 3,000 euros (£1,327-£2,654).
Electric scooter riders must also get off the scooters at pedestrian crossings and cross on foot.
Every user will also be required to wear a helmet, as on a bicycle and they must be age 16 or over.
Leaving a scooter badly parked will be judged as a minor infraction but could still incur a fine of 750 euros (£663).
Electric scooters will also likely be banned from seafront promenades and town squares which are usually pedestrianised.
Riders may use the scooters in cycle lanes on roads but if there isn’t a cycle lane, they can’t travel on a road with a speed limit higher than 30km per hour.
Rental companies will also be required to follow new rules and must use a location-tracking app to monitor the scooters.
Tour guides will need to ensure that there is a gap of 50m between different groups at all times.
The new rules are expected to come into place in February 2023 after receiving final approval.
Electric scooters have soared in popularity across Europe in recent years but can be very controversial.
In some areas, tourists and residents leave the scooters lying on the pavement which can be a hazard for pedestrians.
The scooters can also be difficult to control and riders may accelerate and lose their balance, causing an accident.
However, the scooters’ environmental credentials mean that many tourists are turning to them as an alternative mode of transport.
Santa Cruz will also bring in a new rule against smoking in 2023. The new law will ban tourists and residents from smoking on some beaches.
Cigarette butts are a major source of coastal pollution and can be extremely harmful to marine life.
The new rules will also require beach bars and restaurants to have bins and stop customers from littering.
The popular holiday destination is aiming to reduce the amount of litter spoiling its stunning coastline.
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