The past twelve months we have seen a veritable boom in e-Scooters in Swiss cities among young and old alike. What many people do not know is that traffic rules also apply to e-scooters. Electric scooter riders or those considering to purchase or begin riding electric scooters should refer to their local governments laws to obtain the most up-to-date information on the applicable, local legal standing of scooters.

Such a “vehicle” (e-bikes are excluded from this contribution) with an electric drive can be assigned to a legal vehicle type (e.g. motorbike) and all the technical requirements of this type of vehicle are met, so could drive it on certain public traffic areas. The vehicles can be divided as follows:

Legal basis FEDRO / ASTRA

For use on the road, the same conditions apply as for e-bikes.

UP TO 20 KM/H
E-scooters have a frame, handlebar, forks and wheels that are sufficiently strong, they apply according to Art. 18 let. b VTS as light motorcycles. These are vehicles with a maximum of 0.5 kW engine power, a so-called design-related maximum speed of up to 20 km/h that can be achieved without human muscle power – i.e. with pure engine power, as well as any pedal assistance that is effective up to a maximum of 25 km/h.

  • Max speed: 20 km/h (with pedal assistance up to a maximum of 25 km/h)
  • Maximum engine power: 0.5 kW
  • Minimum age: 14 years
  • Driving license: 14–16 years: Cat. M; from 16 years: none
  • Helmet: Not required but recommended
  • Type approval: Not required
  • License plate: Not required

 

For use on the road, the same conditions apply as for e-bikes.

UP TO 20 KM/H
E-scooters have a frame, handlebar, forks and wheels that are sufficiently strong, they apply according to Art. 18 let. b VTS as light motorcycles. These are vehicles with a maximum of 0.5 kW engine power, a so-called design-related maximum speed of up to 20 km/h that can be achieved without human muscle power – i.e. with pure engine power, as well as any pedal assistance that is effective up to a maximum of 25 km/h.

  • Max speed: 20 km/h (with pedal assistance up to a maximum of 25 km/h)
  • Maximum engine power: 0.5 kW
  • Minimum age: 14 years
  • Driving license: 14–16 years: Cat. M; from 16 years: none
  • Helmet: Not required but recommended
  • Type approval*: Not required
  • License plate: Not required

Are you a person with plus 70 kg? Are you afraid that an e-scooter with a 0.5kW motor will not perform as should and will not take you up the smallest slope? Read here: Single or Dual Motor E-Scooter?

For use on the road, the same conditions apply in Switzerland as for e-bikes. The e-scooter must meet the ASTRA specifications for slow e-bikes. If the device meets these requirements, it is automatically approved. There is no approval in the form of a certificate or identity card. In principle, international versions are produced that do not meet the requirements of ASTRA. 

What does mean "maximum speed"?

E-bikes and mopeds can go up to 25 km/h with the help of a motor. There’s a distinction between the highest speed the vehicle is built for and the highest speed that can be reached with the help of pedalling. The highest speed the vehicle is built for means that the vehicle is allowed to go faster than 20 km/h on the flat when it’s just being controlled by the motor. If you can also pedal to power the vehicle, the motor can only support speeds of up to 25 km/h.

Where can I drive?

E-Scooters with a motor are covered in Art. 18 Letter a and b. VTS They are classified as “Motorfahrräder” (Motor bicycles). This classification is important for traffic rules and where you are allowed to ride it.

You are allowed to drive on public traffic areas. Anyone traveling with such a device must use the cycle paths or cycle lanes, if available ( Art. 46 para. 1 SVG ). Drivers may only use traffic areas designated for pedestrians if there is an additional “Cyclists” sign ( Art. 64 Para. 6 SSV ).

An enormus THANKS to Zurich city police and the company TCS for a graphic table that gives a good overview of the current legal situation and to simply explain the traffic regulations and other must knows ( avaliable only in German). 

Swiss Council for Accident Prevention BFU

Swiss Council for Accident Prevention BFU (BFU, Beratungsstelle für Unfallverhütung) is also offering a wide brochure about the trafic regulations, with a detailed description of where you can ride with the mentioned categories. 

  • The sidewalk is off-limits! E-scooters belong on the cycle path or on the road.
  • The maximum speed is 20 km/h.
  • You must use arm signals to indicate that you want to turn, just as you would when riding a bicycle.
  • In addition, the minimum age for riding an e-scooter is 14. 14- to 16-year olds require a category M (mopeds) driver’s license. Riders aged 16 or above do not need a driver’s license.
  • Wearing a helmet is recommended, but not mandatory

How much does an e-scooter penalty cost?

The lenders can pass on the costs incurred to the users. If they drive on the sidewalk, as a result they will be fined CHF 40,-. If there is a hindrance to other road users, CHF 70,- are due. The Catalog of fines for e-scooters also reveals: Anyone who runs a red light will be asked to pay. Driving next to each other is also not permitted and can costs a fine of CHF 60,-. Riding an e-scooter with two people is quite popular, but it is forbidden, which costs a fine up to CHF 100,-.

TRAFFIC OFFENDERS FACE THE FOLLOWING FINES AND PENALTIES

Riding on the sidewalk in a pedestrian zone or on a footpath

CHF 40,-

Ignoring pedestrians' right of way

CHF 30,-

Riding without lights on a road that is lit at night

CHF 40,-

Riding without lights on a road that is not lit at night

CHF 60,-

Riding without lights in a lit tunnel

CHF 20,-

Not using the cycle path/cycle lane (if available)

CHF 30,-

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