Electric Scooter – Operating Instructions
Before we start our ride in an electric scooter with Shabbat control, let us become familiar with some of its main elements.
Main accessories needed to operate an electric scooter on Shabbat:
1. Shabbat/weekday selector switch (with a safety lock to prevent unintended switching).
2. Special Shabbat ignition key.
5. Two red LED signal lights for turns.
Preparations on Friday, before Shabbat:
a. The selector switch should be set to "Shabbat." From then on, the green signal light (4) will blink for a short time every ten seconds. This switch must not be touched at all during the entire Shabbat!
b. Make sure that the emergency brake switch (6) is not set to "brake," and that the scooter is ready to move.
c. A sign indicating the existence of Shabbat control should be hung up to inform observers of the situation.
Riding on Shabbat:
a. Choose the direction of movement using the direction switch (3).
b. Turn the special Shabbat ignition key (2) to the "on" position and wait for the engine to start (by a process of gramma, indirect action). The signal that the equipment is on is that the green signal light (4) blinks twice. After the engine starts, the scooter will begin to "crawl" slowly in the desired direction (with some models, even if the chosen direction is reverse the scooter will first move forward for a few seconds because of safety considerations before it begins to move backwards).
c. All that remains is to increase the speed of the scooter using the manual speed "throttle." Note: Even in a scooter where the direction of movement is normally set by the hand "throttle," under Shabbat control the direction will be set only by the direction switch (3). Moving the "throttle" backwards when the switch is set to forward will move the scooter forward!
Changing the direction of travel:
To change direction, the control switch (3) is moved to "forward" or "reverse" as desired. The direction will not change immediately. It takes up to ten seconds until the direction is changed by the electronic control system using a gramma mechanism.
When the speed "throttle" is released, the scooter returns to the original state of "crawling." At this point, the electric motor can then be turned off by moving the main switch (2) to the "OFF" position. The motor will be turned of by gramma after two cycles of the green signal light (4).
Since it takes about ten seconds to turn the main mechanism off, another switch has been provided for emergency stops (6). This turns the motor off within two or three seconds. (In some models, a mechanical brake is also available for a fast emergency stop.) To stop, move the switch to the "brake" position. Before the next ride, it is of course important to return the switch to its normal state.
Note that under Shabbat control all of the scooter lights and the horn are disconnected!
To see a review of the halachic and technical basis of the Shabbat control of an electric scooter and an electric wheelchair, press here.
Note that not all models of electric scooter are suitable for installation of Shabbat control. It is therefore recommended that The Zomet Institute should be consulted before making any purchase.