Electric scooters are a safe and fun way to ride. They do not weigh much and can easily get you wherever you need to go within a particular area. However, there are usually some local or state rules associated with riding an e-scooter. So, make sure that you know your local e-scooter rules before buying or riding one.
The electric scooter driving rules may differ from one area/city to another. In this article, we will discuss some of these rules and local laws related to riding an e-scooter.
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Why are there Laws for Driving Electric Scooters?
Whereas the e-scooters were originally launched as a new and innovative means of transportation around the city, they ended up disrupting people’s lives in more ways than one.
Mostly, there are no fixed docks or designated parking spaces for these vehicles, and users park them on sidewalks or in bicycle parking, causing accidents and unwanted disputes. Also, many riders are illegally taking their e-scooters on sidewalks, causing inconvenience for pedestrians.
In light of these events, some state governments outright outlawed electric scooters while others devised rules to ensure the safety of the riders and those around them. These laws include rules related to vehicle conditions, driving license requirements, safety gear to use, where to ride, how to ride, etc.
Things to Keep in Mind When Driving an E-scooter
Where Can You Ride an Electric Scooter on the Road?
Well, in most cities & states across the US, you are allowed to ride an e-scooter on the road or in a bike lane, not on sidewalks. Sidewalks are for pedestrians and therefore should be avoided while riding an e-scooter.
In some cities, riding an e-scooter in public places like parks, school campuses, etc. might be prohibited. For instance, Tucson (AZ) doesn’t allow e-scooter riders to ride on the Arizona University campus or across the Pima County Loop Trail.
How to Drive An Electric Scooter
Riding an e-scooter is another thing that you learn before buying one. It’s important because some states/cities may need you to have a license to ride an electric scooter. Some may also have specific riding rules for e-scooters.
Some of the e-scooter riding rules are common everywhere. These include:
- Ride one person per scooter. Electric scooters are personal transportation devices that are designed to carry only one person at a time. Also, keep in mind the maximum weight limit of an e-scooter when riding it.
- Never drink when or before riding an e-scooter. That goes for any kind of riding or driving. By drinking while riding, you’re not just breaking the law but also putting many people’s lives in danger.
E-scooters As Public Transit
E-scooters were originally meant as a tool for personal transportation, and many states still prefer that they be used only for personal use and not as a public transit system.
Depending on which state or city you live in, there might be some flexibility in whether or not you can ride your e-scooter on public transit. In most places, however, shared scooters are not allowed on public transit.
Make sure to check with your local transit authorities about the rules related to the use of e-scooters as and on public transit.
Age Restrictions for Riding Electric Scooters
In most places, there will be an age restriction for riding an e-scooter. Since these are automated vehicles, children below a specific age may not be allowed to ride them.
Though there is a dispute in different States over the minimum age qualification to ride an electric or motorized scooter, the standard age limit recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and others is – 16 years, which is the same as required to have a driver’s license in most states.
However, in some places, only those who are 18 or older and possess a valid driver’s license can ride an electric scooter or two-wheeler.
Safety Gear to Use While Riding An E-scooter
Well, this is something obvious. No matter what kind of vehicle you’re riding, it’s recommended to use proper safety gear to ensure the safety of yourself and the others around you.
In the case of e-scooters, however, it’s more than recommended. Most States and Cities would need you to use a helmet when riding an e-scooter. And it’s compulsory. You may even be fined if found riding an e-scooter without wearing a helmet.
Besides a helmet, you should also seriously consider wearing gloves, mouthguards, body armor, etc., especially if you’re riding a performance-centric scooter like the Currus NF or Inmotion L8F.
How and Where to Park
This is another important thing to know for e-scooter owners and riders.
Parking an e-scooter on the road or in a public place can be really frustrating, as the laws in most places don’t allow that. However, governments are coming to terms with it and devising rules for e-scooter owners to carefully and responsibly park their vehicles in the right place.
In some urban cities, you are allowed to park your scooter on the sidewalks and close to the street in such a way that it doesn’t bother the pedestrians using the sidewalk. E-scooters must always be parked in an upright position and must not block driveways or entrances.
In other areas, you can park an electric scooter near public bike racks. But, they must never be left on handicapped ramps or parked in automobile parking areas.
It is recommended that the scooter companies have designated docks or areas where their customers can park e-scooters.