Rules for riding your trike safely
Although talking about safety regulations for riding a tricycle has a lot to do with common sense, making sure that the driver will comply with them to avoid accidents is what their typification in the Law seeks. However, you should know that there may be variations according to each province or locality.
The first thing is to remember and take into account that you are not the only one who will decide to go out and ride your tricycle. Both on the cycle path and on the street you will find bicycles, other tricycles, urban mobility vehicles, pedestrians and cars with which you have to share the space to travel.
Therefore, it depends on everyone to comply with the rules so that the flow of all transport is not affected by accidents or traffic jams caused by nuisance abuse. The good thing is that trikes are safer from the start than bikes and that’s because of the stable feel. Its three wheels are not as demanding in terms of the ability to balance that the driver must have.
Spain, like other countries, has had to make regulations that go beyond the simple classification of pedestrian and motor vehicle. In general terms, according to the highest Spanish entity in the matter, both the pedal tricycle for adults and the electric one will be governed by the same regulations as the bicycle and the motor one by those of the vehicles.
In the case of the conventional tricycle and, according to Instruction 16/V-124 of the Directorate General of Traffic DGT regarding the so-called VMP Personal Mobility Vehicles, its driver should not be asked for a driving license since it is a motorless vehicle. However, it leaves open the possibility for each local authority to modify this criterion in the ways of its competence.
On the other hand, this same instruction is very clear and establishes that, in case the tricycle is used for economic activities, its driver must have the authorization with route and schedule issued by the corresponding Municipal Authority. Although some provinces have their autonomous regulations, in general, the truth is that with the point of tricycles there are no relevant variations.
Barcelona, Valencia and other provinces establish in their regulations that the conditions of circulation of tricycles are exactly the same as those of bicycles. For its part, Madrid also does so in its Urban Mobility Vehicle Regulations, VMU.
The allocation is read as circulation channels to cycle lanes, bike lanes, bike paths and streets where the maximum speed allowed is 30 kilometers per hour, always placing the pedestrian as a priority. No VMU should be seen circulating on sidewalks or spaces for pedestrian use.
In the case of parks, on roads shared with pedestrians, the maximum speed will be 5 kilometers per hour and, to park your tricycle, the rule says that you must do so only in the places designated for it. The use of benches, trees or traffic lights to leave it tied is prohibited, even for a few minutes.
When it comes to tricycles with a motor, a driving license is absolutely necessary. Currently, they are homologated with the B permit and are treated like any motor vehicle, assigning them to circulate on the road, just like other vehicles, and never against the direction of traffic.
Like the quadricycles, the tricycles will have a maximum speed of 70 km/h. In the same way, apart from keeping the speed limit, whoever drives them must comply with other traffic laws. It is essential to obey both the traffic lights and the signs of no turning, caution or warning, among others.
If it is necessary to overtake a vehicle, it cannot be done on the right and the driver’s intention must be notified with the indicators and turn signals. Finally, it is important to remember that, being motorized, sidewalks and cycle paths are prohibited.
Being already on the road, it is of the utmost importance that you feel in control of the tricycle and the entire environment. That is, avoid standing next to a vehicle in those blind spots for its driver. If you are behind, keep a distance not only so that he sees you, but also so that you have a good reaction space when you have to brake and thus prevent you from colliding.
If it is a pedal trike, the use of hand signals is essential. Stretching your right or left hand horizontally at a right angle and with the palm facing forward will tell whoever is behind you that you clearly intend to turn. If you have a basket, use it to your advantage by placing packages with the appropriate weight, as well as an amount that fits safely and does not fall off while walking.
Another point that should not be overlooked is the use of clothing with reflective details or clothing with bright colors that ensure that everyone around you sees you. Tricycles must have adequate brakes, a bell, a light in the front and rear position when riding at night and, if desired, retro-reflectors on the pedals or spokes of the wheels are allowed.
To be alert
In addition to not forgetting the use of accessories that complement safety such as helmets, you should be aware that, as pleasant as listening to music may seem to you, you cannot restrict your hearing or vision. All your concentration should be on the vehicular and pedestrian traffic around you.
Even if you go on the best tricycle for adults of the moment (here you will find some purchase options), not hearing a horn that alerts you or not looking at a pedestrian that crosses you because you are answering a text message can cause serious consequences.
It is also important to note that there are very clear safe passage rules for vehicle drivers regarding the care they must take so as not to run over or hit someone who is riding a tricycle. For example, when a vehicle wants to overtake a tricycle, it must make sure to pass by its side, complying with the minimum established distance of 1.5 meters.