One of the motorbike groups that I’m in were discussing the legality of electric scooters 电动车here in Beijing;  when someone came across this article, that actually shows Beijing’s true legal stance on electric scooters.  I think it’s very interesting because it means that most of the reasons for why I dislike electric scooters so much, well the drivers anyway, is in fact, as it turns out, based in Chinese law as well.

The Haidian Court ruled against an 80-year-old man surnamed Liang in the case of a scooter accident that left Liang with a Level 8 disability.

Liang was struck by a car while driving his scooter home from the hospital earlier this month. Assuming that he would not be held liable for the accident on account of his vehicle, Liang sued the driver of the car and its insurance company for more than 200,000 yuan.

However, the court ruled that Liang’s scooter was a motorized tricycle, even though it used battery power instead of a combustion engine. Because Liang was not licensed to drive the vehicle he was automatically at fault.

The Traffic Safety Law of China defines motor vehicles as any vehicle that can generate its own momentum. Non-motor vehicles include those powered by human force or animals, and limits their speed and appearance.

Beijing Youth Daily investigated a scooter model that’s popular with older Beijingers. One salesman told reporters that the lowest scooters max out at 30-40 kilometers per hour. A few can reach speeds of 60 kilometers per hour.

Reporters phones famous sellers and manufactures and none knew exactly what kind of vehicle the scooter was. The traffic department said that most scooters are motor vehicles and cannot be issued a license.

Scooters have been a controversial vehicle since last year when old people began using scooters to pick up their grandchildren. In April, Zhangqiu, Shandong province began to clear the scooters from its roads. Inner Mongolia is also being stricter on scooters to avoid accidents.

My opinion? – Good.   Get more people to understand the traffic laws.
Big one- don’t run red lights.
But yep, if the car hit the old dude and it really wasn’t his fault, it doesn’t matter that he didn’t have a license.. otherwise we could all just starting running people down that didn’t have licenses and claim that it was their fault.  So that’s obviously not the solution to those kind of accidents either.

That being said, electric scooters should have to do a basic traffic law understanding course, and then ….. and this is the big one, the Chinese Police actually have to enforce these laws.
Plus this should be common sense as one of my friends points out, -if you are physically impaired from driving a vehicle safely, then you shouldn’t be allowed to drive said vehicle.

A friend’s opinion? – ‘I mean.. many elderly people you see on those bikes should definitely NOT be out riding or driving on the roads, I think that’s a big thing too. Had many near-misses with older people that could barely hold the bike up right, and of course couldn’t turn their head to shoulder check or anything and therefore ended up just cutting off everybody with no warning.’

This reminds me in fact, … most of the people I yell at are old people.
(Yes I tend to yell at people for driving unsafely and who are driving like general dick-bags)

I mean I’m yelling at them because they’re dangerous… but also I feel its justified, because I think their hearing is not so good… and if I don’t, how will they ever know they’re doing something wrong?