Recently, electric scooters have become the modern way of traveling. At the same time, the law is as well as catching up with this technology. The legality of electric bikes on the sidewalk is, therefore, a significant concern for many people.
Wherever you live, it’s more likely that you are allowed to ride a regular scooter along pavements or roadside. However, with an electric bike that has a speed of up to 25mph, it becomes a significant risk to ride the motorcycle along sidewalks shared with pedestrians.
First, the legality of electric scooters depends on where you live. Check below:
How electric scooters laws vary from State to State
In this state, one is only allowed to ride an electric scooter along the bike lane or on the right side of the road just near to the curb. Riding an electric scooter along the sidewalk is prohibited. Additionally, when you are about to cross an intersection, you must ensure you walk the scooter across.
You are only allowed to ride your electric scooter on the road together with traffic or in the bike lane or the sidewalks. However, bike lanes are excellent places to ride.
In Austin, for example, you will find some stretches of sidewalk which are off limit to the scooters. You, therefore, need to do your search more before you embark on riding.
In this state, riding a scooter on the sidewalk is not illegal as the state considers an electric scooter as a toy. However, you are not allowed to ride a scooter on a bike lane or the general traffic road.
Riding an electric scooter on the sidewalk in Washington is illegal, especially when there is a bike lane. You are however allowed to operate your electric scooter on the path in case it has a mechanical problem.
To know the legality of scooters in your state, make a point of visiting the state Department of Motor Vehicle. On the website, you will also need to look through local municipal laws concerning scooters as well.
General laws obligations to full-time scooters
With states varying in terms of scooter laws, it’s upon you the scooter to follow the rules from wherever you live. However, we have some general regulations that apply across all states regarding electric scooters, and you need to be acquitted with them.
Read on to learn about such laws:
• Kids below 16 years and below are not allowed to wear helmets. Additionally, such a kid is allowed to drive on a public road.
• You are entirely prohibited from riding a full pack electric scooter on sidewalks or bike paths. A complete pack scooter can cover 65 miles every hour and are therefore to be driven on public roads.
• If you own a scooter of 50cc and can cover a speed of up to 30 miles in every hour and above, you are required to have a driving license.
• Lastly, it’s a requirement that all full pack electric scooters be fully registered and the license renewed annually.
Electric scooters and road hand signals
When you are on the road with your electric scooter on, it’s advisable to communicate to other motorists that are around you. To ensure this, you need to mount a signal on your handlebar. Such signs are similar to those that are mounted on the motorcycle. The signal blinks especially when the rider flips a switch.
To learn more about turn signals for scooters, do some research online. You will come across various turn signals models that go as low as $15 and easy to install.
It’s advisable to note that not all turn signals are helpful and useful. Some are incredibly cheap tend to become faulty within a short time.
What makes electric scooter prohibited from sidewalks
By now, you might be wondering why electric scooters are more illegal from riding in the paths. Well, there are several reasons which are worth noticing.
1. Rider poor experience
Most electric scooters riders are less experienced and ride them as first-timers. Statistic says most people ride scooters for fun and are never careful on the road. The less experienced an electric scooter has on the road, the high risk of accidents.
2. High-risk behavior
Even though some riders may break traffic laws due to inexperience, some are only reckless on the road. These are reckless behaviors such as riding while on drugs, riding on sidewalks with human traffic hence knocking people down or riding against traffic.
3. Low visibility
Even though electric scooters are meant to be compact enough, some motorist rarely sees them on the road. In most cases, this leads to accidents. You are, however, encouraged to wear a reflective jacket while on the road.
4. Road risks
Electric scooters are less stable on the road. With this, standard road hazards such as potholes, uneven road surfaces, debris, and gravels frequently cause the rider to lose control and might crush with a car at any time.
5. Pedestrian risks
Electric scooter riders on sidewalks expose regular pedestrians to several risks. Mostly pedestrians tend to be on the look for an incoming vehicle, motorbike or bicycles and ignore an electric scooter. Even in cases where a passer-by sees a scooter, ignorance takes control, and it can lead to an accident and injuries.
Common electric scooters injuries
Electric scooter riders are encouraged to put on protective gear.
However, if such does not happen, the following injuries can occur:
- Brain and head injuries after foaling down
- Breaking of bone
- Sores on the face
- Fractures of the back and spinal
- Dislocation of body parts
What are the penalties of riding electric scooters on prohibited sidewalks?
In California, for example, the breaking of electric scooter’s laws is counted as a traffic violation. Law enforcement gives fines to lawbreakers depending on the type of infraction. The minimum you can be fine is $100.
To avoid being on the wrong side of the law, always avoid riding your electric scooter on the prohibited areas. You also need to consider that an electric scooter is just like a vehicle or bike and can cause a fatal accident.
It is advisable to avoid hitting pedestrians on sidewalks by giving the walker a way for passing.
*The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.