Japan’s National Police Agency has announced that from July, those riding e-scooters in Japan will no longer require a driver’s licence. Individuals under 16 will be banned from using the vehicles.
E-scooters are growing in popularity in Japan’s urban areas thanks to their practicality. Likewise, instances of improper use such as traffic violations have also risen. In light of this, the Japanese Government has been introducing new legislation to regulate the usage of the popular light electric vehicles, with police enforcing these rules strictly. Previously, e-scooters were classified as mopeds under 50 cubic centimetres in engine displacement, therefore requiring a driver’s licence, helmet, and registered license plate. Now, vehicles falling under new regulations will be classified as motorized bicycles.
The new rules apply to scooters with a max. speed of 20kph.
Riders must comply with the same traffic rules as cyclists, including not riding on sidewalks (unless max. speed is set to 6kph).
E-scooters must measure under 1.9m in length and under 0.6m in width.
E-scooters must be equipped with green lights on the front and back, which must be illuminated on roads and flash while on sidewalks.
Vehicles failing to comply with these parameters will continue to be classified as mopeds, and therefore require a full driver’s license.