Picture it – starry skies, the quiet of the night, and you and your electric scooter carving a path through the darkness. We know many electric scooter owners who are drawn to the idea of ending the day riding out to the middle of nowhere, escaping the daily drudgery of work and finding some time for themselves. While this might sound appealing, it’s best to find out – can you ride electric scooters at night?
First and foremost, you need to know what your local laws state about riding electric scooters – not just at night, but on public roads. For example, New Zealand and Norway allow electric scooters to be ridden on footpaths, cycleways and roads, while in the US the laws vary from state to state. UK law currently states that privately owned electric scooters cannot be used on roads, though there is constant debate over the matter, with the Transport Committee of MPs calling for them to be legalised in the near future. That being said, rental electric scooters are legal and follow government guidelines, while people who own electric scooters can ride them anytime they want on privately owned land.
So if you’re planning to use a rental or ride your own electric scooter on private property at night, what do you need to keep in mind?
Check your battery, brakes and lights
It might sound like a no-brainer, but you definitely don’t want to go night-riding with a battery on low charge. Imagine coming to a halt and having to roll your electric scooter back home – it’s not practical, and it’s definitely not safe. We’ve got a comprehensive guide on charging your electric scooter, including tips on how to extend battery life, so you never have to worry about running out of juice.
Just as important as battery life is the condition of your brakes. Whether you’re riding in the day or the night, you definitely want your brakes running without fault. Testing your brakes is simple enough. Ride at a slow speed and make sure your brakes are responsive and you comfortably come to a halt. Do this in safe space where there’s no slope and no traffic. Increase your speed and repeat, keeping an eye on braking distance.
Watch our video on how to set up and adjust the brakes on your e-scooter.
And finally, before you head out for a night ride, make sure your lights are in good working condition. Turn on your front lights in the dark to see if they improve visibility, and check that your rear lights can be easily seen from a distance. If your e-scooter doesn’t have rear lights, you should invest in add-ons or avoid riding at night time. Deck lighting alone is not sufficient.
If you intend to frequently go for night rides, then consider investing in powerful front lights and clip-on rear lights.
In addition to obeying the law and checking your battery, brakes and lights, there are a few other safety tips worth following when riding in the night. We know it can be exciting blazing across the unknown, but try to ride along well-lit paths so you can clearly see what’s ahead of you. When in doubt, travel at a slow speed. You don’t want to be jeopardising yourself or others around you. Make sure you wear protective gear and reflective clothing. And if you’re the sociable type, perhaps ride with others so that you have someone with you in case something goes wrong.
We know it sounds like we’re rattling off a whole bunch of rules, but at the end of the day we want your night-time electric scooter rides to be safe and enjoyable. Now get out there and enjoy the open air.