Japan to apply bicycle traffic rules to electric stand-up scooters

Japanese police have decided to apply the traffic rules for bicycles to electric stand-up scooters, which are increasingly being used in urban areas.

Electric stand-up scooters are legally in the same category as mopeds and motorcycles. But scooters that are rented from government-certified companies for safety tests on public roads are categorized as small-size special vehicles.

The National Police Agency revised the road traffic law and decided to apply the current bicycle traffic rules to scooters that meet certain standards, starting July 1.

Scooters that go no faster than 20 kilometers per hour, are equipped with a maximum speed indicator and are of a certain size will not require a driving license.

Riders will be asked to make efforts to wear a helmet.
Children under 16 will be banned from riding them.

Scooters must keep to public roads in principle. But those that meet certain criteria, such as being able to keep speeds down to 6 kilometers per hour, will be allowed on sidewalks, just like bicycles.

Operators will be given traffic tickets for drunk driving and using mobile phones while riding scooters. Repeat violators will be obliged to take safety courses.