Insurance required for scooters, hoverboards and electric wheelchairs
Share article:
Share article:

Insurance required for scooters, hoverboards and electric wheelchairs

© Belga

The users of electric scooters, hoverboard and even wheelchairs will in future need to have insurance, according to a ruling by the Constitutional Court.

Prior to the ruling, insurance was only required for a self-propelling vehicle able to travel at a speed in excess of 25 km/h. An exception was made for Class A mopeds which cannot exceed that speed limit but still have to be insured.

The Constitutional Court was responding to a request for a ruling from a court in East Flanders in relation to two cases before it. One concerned a man convicted for riding a moped without insurance, who complained that scooter and electric bicycle users were able to travel at the same speed without insurance.

The second case, more oddly, was a man convicted of driving a cherry-picker without insurance, who argued that the vehicle was not able to exceeds 25 km/h and was besides not a moped.

The court looked all the way back to the parliamentary debates involved in the creation of the legislation, and found that the legislator had been concerned, in the case of the moped, with both the speed of the vehicle and its mass. A moped is at the same time able to reach a relatively high speed while being extremely light. The two things together create a certain risk.

Yet when the legislation came to be drafted, the court said, only speed was taken into account. That had the effect of suggesting that a 7.5 tonne cherry-picker platform was considered less dangerous than a moped.

However fortuitously, that particular case has been resolved for the future, as the day before the court’s verdict, a law came into force which includes raised platforms and other construction vehicles expressly within the speed limit laws.

As far as electric scooters and the like are concerned – electric sharing bikes will also be covered – users can now be fined for riding without insurance. If the police decide to go down that road, the courts will be obliged to follow.

It will then be up to the legislator to deal with the issue, according to Barbara Van Speybroeck, spokesperson for insurance industry federation Assuralia speaking to the VRT.

If the courts follow [the ruling], then it is up to politicians, which can do various things. They could write a new law, with clear criteria. Or we could fall back on a European directive, which stipulates that all motorised vehicles must have compulsory liability insurance. If our country falls back on that directive, electric scooters and the like would also need insurance.”

In some European countries, she pointed out, such insurance is already mandatory.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

European Council: Decisions on Covid-19 and energy and debate on other issues
At the two-days summit which ended on Friday, the European Council adopted conclusions on COVID-19, digital, energy prices, migration, trade and ...
Flanders ‘water bomb’ could cause €2 billion in damages and affect thousands
The next "water bomb" or heavy rainfall over Flanders could cause damages estimated at around €2 billion, and could affect up to 100,000 people in ...
Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine 90% effective in 5 to 11-year-olds
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 90.7% effective in preventing symptomatic forms of the coronavirus in children aged five to 11, Pfizer announced on ...
Belgian airport named best for cargo in Europe
Brussels Airport has been named the best airport in Europe in a 2021 roundup of the best cargo airports across the world. The Asian Freight, ...
NASA plans first return mission to Moon in February 2022
The United States space agency, NASA, has announced that it will be aiming to launch its first, uncrewed mission to the moon, Artemis 1, in February ...
New, reportedly more contagious Delta mutation being monitored
A new mutation of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, which is reported to be more contagious, is being monitored by health authorities in the ...
Angèle releases new single: ‘Bruxelles je t’aime’
Belgian singer Angèle has unveiled her latest song ahead of the release of her new album, due later this year. 'Bruxelles je t'aime' (Brussels I ...
23 million chickens and 1.7 million pigs: Climate experts call for livestock cut
Flander's livestock needs to be drastically cut to save the climate and reach the emission reduction targets, according to the latest advice from the ...
Vaccination uptake surges in Wallonia following CST announcement
The number of people getting vaccinated against the coronavirus increased fourfold in Wallonia after it was announced that the Covid Safe Ticket ...
Guilty by association
BRUSSELS BEHIND THE SCENES Weekly analysis and untold stories With SAM MORGAN Other Brussels behind the scenes stories: Brussels' bid to make ...
Health minister supports use of Covid Safe Ticket in workplace
As the use of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) has been expanded in Brussels and is set to in Wallonia, federal health minister Frank Vandenbroucke has ...
Maggots show Conings may have lived longer following disappearance
Former army soldier Jürgen Conings, whose disappearance in mid-May resulted in a month-long manhunt, may have been alive for longer than has been ...