While the electric cars are not yet popular in the Philippines, personal mobility devices have found its way in parts of Metro Manila, but most commonly in Fort Bonifacio because there are wide sidewalks and wheelchair ramps every where.
Photo above: A lady uses the e-scooter to commute to work. Some people use it to go to office in Fort Bonifacio everyday.
Are there traffic rules for e-scooters?
We are not aware of traffic rules regarding e-scooters in the Philippines. Some countries have made rules in this regard, and they vary from city to city, each catering to their own circumstances. As an example, below is a set of strict rules implemented in a city in Australia.
Above; Rules for E-scooters in the City of Adelaide, Australia. "Riding abreast" means riding side by side.
In Singapore, E-scooters and power-assisted bicycles have to be registered and inspected. They have to follow the same traffic rules as other vehicles, such as observing the same traffic signs.
The bottom line is, even when there are no rules, e-scooters and other powered personal mobility devices should be mindful of other road users and follow traffic rules for vehicles when they are used on the roads, and follow rules for pedestrians when used on sidewalks. This is for the safety of both the escooters and other road users.
Photo above: high power e-scooters can go as fast as motorcycles, but you won't be able to carry them up a flight of stairs
How to keep safe
A study conducted by public health officials in USA between September 5th through November 30th, 2018, identified 271 people who had been involved in scooter-related accidents that caused injuries. Of those, almost half sustained head injuries. And 15% sustained traumatic brain injuries. Wear a helmet.
E-scooter is dangerous to the rider at high speed, because the center of gravity of a standing person is higher than that in a seated position. This means that the rider can easily be thrown off the e-scooter when it hits an obstacle at high speed. We would therefore advise against riding a e-scooter at speed of over 30 kilometers per hour.
Photo above: E-scooters can be used for leisure too
Should you get a e-scooter or a e-bicycle?
E-scooter is a good alternative for traveling short distance. Furthermore, it can be folded and carried indoor easily.
Power assisted bicycles, on the other hand, lets the rider get a little exercise during a commuting trip, and can go further. Also, the bigger tyre size allows an electric bicycle to conquer rugged terrain better than a e-scooter.
Have fun but be safe
Electric scooters are a lot of fun and a great way to get around in congested urban areas. They do pose risks to the user and others, but as long as you’re aware of the risks and take measures to guard against them you should be able to enjoy them.
Quiz: how many powered personal mobility devices are there in the photo below?
We spotted at least four!
Below is a video showing various types of power-assisted personal mobility devices being used in Fort Bonifacio.