Are there any special laws or regulations regarding the use of an electric scooter in a crowded area or city street?

Pennsylvania and Delaware don't allow electric scooters on public roads, but other states do, as long as the driver respects the speed limit. To understand minor panic and legal messes, we need to understand the different types of infrastructure and transportation cultures. Manhattan isn't Pittsburgh, and it's a long way from cities considering legislating on scooters, where there are very few pedestrians. But geographical differences only tell part of the story.

Scooter laws, such as those in California, the birthplace of electric scooters, began at the level of major crowded cities and then expanded across the state. Many local and state regulations on electric scooters were created in conjunction with pilot programs for shared scooters, meaning that these laws weren't designed with electric vehicle owners in mind. The so-called electric scooter problem could actually be a problem with the shared model itself. Research consistently shows that an overwhelming percentage of scooter accidents involve inexperienced drivers riding shared scooters for the first time.

That shouldn't come as a surprise. Shared scooter companies trust that millions of people who have never tried an electric scooter will suddenly hit the city's streets and sidewalks. That usually happens without even a test drive to practice balancing, cornering, accelerating and braking. It may seem reasonable to expect adults to operate a small two-wheeled electric scooter with ease right away, but this is based on the mistaken assumption that electric scooters, such as children's scooters, are toys.

Electric scooters are a lot of fun and are serious vehicles. Imagine trying to maneuver a car in traffic if you've never driven before, and consider that it takes months to learn how to drive. Most PEV cyclists have time to learn the basics before hitting crowded roads. Not only are they looking for others, but they're also protecting an investment they've made in an electric scooter that they hope will last them years, not just the length of their trip to work.

While specific laws may not be clear even in places where electric scooters aren't explicitly prohibited, the best thing electric scooter users can do is to learn responsible driving practices and use them at all times. Driving safely also means driving at responsible speeds. Driving at 20 miles per hour on the right side of the road is thrilling. Walking at 20 miles per hour on the sidewalk is almost homicidal.

Most of the laws on scooters seem designed to control the exchange companies themselves. The requirements for passengers to have driver's licenses or be over 16 years of age seem to be aimed at reducing the number of users of shared scooters that could cause public safety mishaps and pedestrian accidents. The changing nature of these laws is frustrating, especially because they raise a lot of legal questions about who is responsible for injuries and damages. For the time being, those issues will largely be resolved in court before they are codified into law, since the legislation on electric scooters is almost completely new.

As an important part of the rapidly growing micromobility industry, electric scooters have forced legislators and municipal authorities to reconsider not only traffic laws, but also traffic patterns and the future of transportation infrastructure itself. At least in the United States, city streets developed with almost overt hostility toward pedestrians, cyclists, and other smaller vehicles as highways crossed, surrounded, and hovered over urban neighborhoods. The result was streets that posed a danger to everyone who weren't locked in a two-ton steel box. That situation has changed as bike lanes, trails and lanes are being extended and cars are given less priority.

Even so, most traffic laws apply to manage the dangers posed to pedestrians and other drivers by high-speed vehicles, such as cars, trucks and motorcycles. Obviously, behaviors such as driving an electric scooter while intoxicated or texting are grossly negligent and could result in a violation. But in general, as long as scooter drivers don't cause accidents directly, avoid high-speed roads, drive safely, and reasonably follow commonsense traffic rules to the best of their ability, law enforcement is highly unlikely to stop them. When it comes to the enforcement of laws on electric scooters, here at ESG we have only seen one law that is consistently applied in dense urban centers such as Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, and these are the laws that regulate speed.

As we have tried to show above, these are also laws that protect the well-being of pedestrians, cyclists, skaters and the users of electric scooters themselves. Avoiding high-speed car traffic, slowing down in areas with a lot of foot traffic, and driving safely and visibly at all times means slowing down when needed, something that all e-scooter users should remember, whether they're driving their own personal electric vehicle or a shared electric scooter rented from a large company. The information provided on this website does not constitute or purport to constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. The information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information.

This website contains links to other third-party websites. Such links are for the reader's convenience only. The state of Georgia allows its residents to operate electric scooters on bike lanes and bicycle lanes, and on roads with a speed limit of 35 mph or less if they are not available. In Texas, there are no specific laws on electric scooters and, therefore, they are subject to existing DMV regulations for motor-assisted scooters (i).

The bill authorizes a person to operate an electric scooter on roads with a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less, on bike lanes and sidewalks. These included better distinguishing between municipal and state regulations, between real regulations on electric scooters and those of other form factors (i). What to consider when buying an electric scooter You may have seen locals pass quickly past you on their electric scooters, and you might think that an electric scooter would also be a good fit for your everyday commuter lifestyle. Rhode Island doesn't have state legislation addressing electric scooters, and cities are managing pilot programs to share scooters.

Under the Oklahoma City ordinance, anyone under the age of 18 who operates an electric scooter must wear a helmet. In states where helmets are required for all ages, this is generally an extension of laws on mopeds to electric scooters. Electric scooters are rapidly overtaking other modes of transportation as the best way to cover short distances. This requires users of electric scooters to wear a helmet, give way to pedestrians and provide a sound signal when passing.

But sadly, the scooter laws that emerged are based on some misunderstandings about the safety of scooters. In New Mexico, you have to ask at the local level, since at the moment there are no formal legislative policies at the state level on electric scooters. That may be a generalization, but for most people, electric scooters are very easy to drive. .

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