Bartolomé Vargas, Prosecutor of the Road Safety Coordination Chamber, has sent a letter to all the local police in Spain to intensify alcohol and drug controls on drivers of Personal Mobility Vehicles (VMP), especially in cities, something that extends to bicycle riders. Bartolomé Vargas pointed out, at a press conference, that “there have been systematic breaches of road regulations by cyclists and skaters, and by false personal mobility vehicles (VMP) that are really mopeds, which generate a great disturbance, concern and insecurity, with which sustainable mobility, which is the objective, is put at risk”.

Mandatory insurance

The Road Safety Prosecutor referred to the danger of driving without insurance lacking sufficient financial solvency on the part of cyclists and drivers of VMP. In fact, Vargas explained that he is committed to obliging all users of this type of vehicle to take out civil liability insurance, both scooters and other personal mobility vehicles (VMP) and bicycles. In this sense, he recalled that conflict situations are already occurring in large cities in accidents with this type of vehicle. In addition, the Road Safety prosecutor, warned of the breach of the rules by scooters and bicycles in the cities: “It is not uncommon to see cyclists run over a red light or that a scooter user is riding on the sidewalk and is about to run over a pedestrian.” The prosecutor affirms that “the signs are not respected”, for which “a feeling of insecurity, disturbance in the citizen coexistence and conflict is generated that makes the sustainable mobility move away”.

For this reason, Vargas assured that the Prosecutor’s Office will maintain contacts with the General Directorate of Insurance and with the Insurance Compensation Consortium to find coverage formulas in relation to accidents caused by these vehicles and, where appropriate, propose the appropriate legal reforms.

Unify criteria

In this sense, the letter sent to the urban traffic police by the Road Safety Prosecutor’s Office tries to unify criteria in a triple aspect. On the one hand, “face the phenomenon of the proliferation of vehicles marketed as VMP (…) sometimes with the appearance of mopeds and with high performance and power level”. The objective of this unification is to determine “which ones fit the concept of moped or motor vehicle with which crimes against road safety can be committed (art. 379 et seq. Of the Penal Code)”, such as driving under the influence alcohol or drugs, reckless driving or without a licence.

On the other hand, the Prosecutor ensures that the rules are complied with “by everyone, without exception” , for which he facilitates uniform criteria of action on the subjection of VMP users and cyclists to the Road Safety Law “promoting the exercise of greater rigor of the powers of police surveillance, alcohol and drug controls known and visible to the public, sanctions, immobilisation, withdrawal and deposit in the event of legal infractions generating risk situations and their consideration when the infractions generate harmful results as possible perpetrators of crimes of homicide and reckless injuries”, which are punished, respectively, with penalties of 1 to 9 years in prison and from 3 months to 6 years and 9 months in prison.

Third, the Road Safety Prosecutor intends to address the phenomenon of improper commercialisation of these VMP “from sanctioning and preventive strategies.”

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