E-scooters will be classified under the new category of “Specified Small Motorized Bicycles” when the revised Road Traffic Law comes into effect on Saturday, July 1st, 2023, and traffic rules will be new. Luup, Inc. (Head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President and CEO: Daiki Okai; hereinafter “Luup”) will make necessary adjustments to the sharing service “LUUP” so that it complies with the rules from the effective date.
E-scooters are a new mobility that began to spread worldwide in 2017. Because they are electric and compact, they have attracted attention for their ability to significantly reduce CO2 emissions associated with transportation compared to conventional vehicles, and their widespread use has also accelerated as a means of transportation to avoid density under the influence of the spread of the new coronavirus infection. On the other hand, since it is a new type of mobility, countries worldwide are searching for appropriate driving rules, and regulations are being established to suit the environment of each country.
In October 2019, the significance of conducting demonstration experiments for the development of rules was recognized by the relevant ministries and agencies, and we received approval under the “Regulatory Sandbox System” to conduct demonstration tests using a university campus as a pseudo-public road for three months. The demonstration experiment was conducted on a simulated public road on the university’s campus for three months. In April 2021, we were able to begin offering the sharing service, albeit as a demonstration experiment. With reference to some of the data from these step-by-step demonstrations, the government has developed rules for safer driving, which will come into effect on Saturday July 1st.
We believe that this revision of the Road Traffic Law is the first major change to the Road Traffic Law since a new form of mobility, the e-bike, was approved 30 years ago. We believe that this is the first time traffic rules have been established specifically for e-scooters and other electric compact mobility vehicles, and that this is a step forward for Japan toward the safe diffusion of this new form of mobility.
Awareness Raising of New Traffic Rules and Safety Measures
Luup has taken various safety measures, both inside and outside the app, to ensure that sharing services are used correctly. We will continue and strengthen our various efforts to ensure that as many people as possible can use the service safely and in accordance with the new traffic rules. The following is an introduction of the main awareness-building activities and safety measures that will accompany the enforcement of the new traffic rules.
⚫️ Safety workshops held in each area on the enforcement dates of the revised traffic rules
Efforts to hold safety workshops and educational events that provide face-to-face education on traffic rules and how to ride will continue. First, we plan to have these events in the following three cities.
Saturday, July 1st to Tuesday, July 4th, at MIYASHITA PARK, Tokyo
Saturday, July 1st, at Naka-Ikebukuro Park, Tokyo
Saturday, July 1st, at multiple ports in the Marunouchi area, Tokyo (port guided tours only, no test rides)
Saturday, July 1st, at Osaka Central Public Hall
Sunday, July 2nd, at Meriken Park, Kobe
Reference: Luup Press Release “Safety Workshops Will Be Held on the Effective Date of the Revised Road Traffic Law.”
⚫️ Advertisements in major train stations and newspapers in Tokyo and Osaka
It is essential to let the non-LUUP users know about the revision of the Road Traffic Law. We will place advertisements at major train stations in Tokyo and Osaka and in newspapers to inform society about the new traffic rules.
⚫️ Renewal of the “E-Scooter User Guidebook”
The guidebook for the safe and secure use of e-scooters, jointly produced by Luup and Tokio Marine Holdings, Inc. in 2022, will be renewed when the revised law comes into effect. The guidebook has been updated to include basic traffic rules and critical points for riding electrically power-assisted bicycles, and more than ten pages of content have been added to the existing guidebook. The guidebook will be distributed at safety seminars after the enforcement date and will also be made available on the web at a later date.
Reference: Luup Press Release “E-Scooter User Guidebook Jointly Produced with Tokio Marine”
⚫️ New stricter penalty system for violations
Until now, accounts of users found to have committed serious violations, such as driving under the influence of alcohol, have been suspended. For example, even for violations that are considered unintentional, such as leaving a vehicle unattended or disregarding a traffic light, are repeated, the account will be suspended and other severe measures will be taken.
About the New E-Scooters
As of July 1st, e-scooters that meet specific criteria will be classified as “Specified Small Motorized Bicycles” (hereinafter “specified small e-bikes”). The main differences from conventional e-scooters are as follows.
⚫️ Equipped with a maximum speed indicator light
The “maximum speed indicator light” will be installed as a new safety component. The light will be always on when in the 20 km/h mode and it will blink when in the 6 km/h mode as a special exception specified small motorized bicycle (hereinafter “special exception specified small e-bikes”) to indicate the vehicle’s status to those around the vehicle. The 6km/h mode is optional.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism has set a grace period for installing the maximum speed indicator lights, and all vehicles must be equipped with the lights by December 2024. During the grace period, if a vehicle does not have a maximum speed indicator light, it may be ridden as a specified small e-bike if it has been certified under the Performance Verification System as meeting other safety standards and bears a certification sticker or if it bears a new license plate for specified small e-bikes.
⚫️ “6km/h mode” button
New LUUP e-scooters to be deployed in the city after July 1st will be equipped with a 6km/h mode button. When using a vehicle with this button, riders will be allowed to pass at 6km/h on sidewalks where there are signs indicating that bicycles are allowed to pass. However, Luup still considers the roadway and regular bicycle lanes as the main places for riders to ride. Under unavoidable circumstances, such as when there are too many parked vehicles on the roadway to ride on the left side of the road, we recommend riders avoid danger by entering the sidewalk where there are signs that allow riding. The driving mode can only be changed when the vehicle is completely stopped. Please change the mode after confirming safety at the edge of the road.
The replacement of vehicles will be made gradually. For the time being, there will be vehicles that have been offered so far (specified small e-bikes not equipped with 6km/h mode) and vehicles that meet the safety standards for special exception specified small e-bikes (specified small e-bikes equipped with 6km/h mode).
⚫️ Equipped with new smaller license plates
The size of the license plate will be changed to fit the width of the e-scooter. Vehicles already offered within the sharing service will still be allowed to run as specified small e-bikes with the existing number plate for motorized bicycles.
Changes to Service
The following are the major changes to LUUP’s e-scooter service effective July 1st. There will be no change in the usage process, fees, insurance coverage, etc.
⚫️ Preparation for use (1) Answer all questions on new traffic rules correctly to pass
The test for new traffic rules was created for easy and accurate understanding using plain language and illustrations for explanation.
In addition, educational content is also available within the app to learn the new traffic rules and check your knowledge before taking the test. This test can be taken in advance within the LUUP app from May 16th.
⚫️ Preparation for use (2) Submission of age verification documents
LUUP began accepting age verification documents on June 8th. By submitting age verification documents and completing pre-registration for e-scooter use in advance, users can use LUUP e-scooters smoothly after the enforcement of the revised Road Traffic Law.
Acceptable age verification documents:
Individual Number Card (My Number Card)
Passport (overseas passports are also acceptable)
⚫️ App is now available in English
After the enforcement of the revised Road Traffic Law, foreign residents and tourists who do not own a Japanese driver’s license will be able to ride e-scooters. To provide a convenient means of transportation for foreign residents and tourists, the LUUP app has been available in English since June 19th. Traffic rule tests and learning contents are also available in English.
(Reference) What is LUUP?
LUUP is a sharing service that allows users to rent e-bikes or e-scooters through a smartphone app and move from stations to stations throughout the city. The service started in May 2020 with only about 50 stations in the Shibuya area, offering only e-bikes, and now also provides e-scooters at more than 3,500 stations in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Yokohama, Utsunomiya, Kobe, and Nagoya. The LUUP makes short trips of 10 to 30 minutes on foot more comfortable and contributes to the city’s revitalization by making the whole city feel like a station.
About Luup, Inc.
Luup, Inc. will create a new short-distance mobility infrastructure that makes the entire city “a station front” through the sharing service of electric, compact, and single-passenger micromobility. We currently provide “LUUP,” a sharing service of “electric micromobility,” in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Yokohama, Utsunomiya, Kobe, and Nagoya. We will reduce CO2 emissions by popularizing electric micromobility and introduce new electric mobility that can be ridden by the elderly, and ultimately create a sustainable society where all people can get around safely and conveniently.
- Location: AKIHABARA CENTRAL SQUARE 4F, 3-21-24 Kanda-Sakumachō, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0025
- Representative: Daiki Okai
- Founded: July 2018
- URL: https://luup.sc/
- App Store: https://ride-your-city.luup.sc/Myjb/cfcdb04a
● Luup, Inc.
Public Relations: Misato Matsumoto, Megumi Muramoto
For press inquiries: Please contact us by using the contact form at the bottom of our corporate website (https://luup.sc/) and selecting “For the Press and Media”.
For service inquiries: 080-0080-4333