Electric Scooter Laws, Are they Legal, Can You Ride Them On The Sidewalk

Electric scooters are fun and mobile rides. They are pretty inexpensive and perfect for day to day life.

E-scooters are gaining popularity nowadays. People have started to realize the advantages of these compact vehicles in their life.

But as it’s a vehicle, it comes with risks. Thus, there are laws on riding an electric scooter. So, the question that comes up “Are electric scooters legal on sidewalks?”

Laws on electric scooters might vary from state to state. It’s crucial to know about these and follow them accordingly.

Are electric scooters legal on sidewalks

To help you understand better, let’s go over electric scooter laws so that you can ride your e-scooter safely.

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Are Electric Scooters Legal on Sidewalk

There is no straightforward answer to that. The state you are in dictates that completely.

E-scooters were not easily seen back in the day as they are seen now. They have been around for more than 24 years now. But these days, the number of people riding them have just flooded, especially in America.

For more convenience, manufacturers are producing more and more innovative designs that attract the customers. Thus, the number of people using e-scooter will just keep growing.

Because of the rapid spike, many people are unsure whether they can ride their electric scooter on the sidewalk or not.
As previously stated, it is dependent on the state in which you choose to drive it. You should first become familiarized with the laws of the city you live in.

In California, it is illegal to ride an electric scooter on the sidewalk. You must either drive on the bike lanes or on the right side of the road.

And again, the rules differ from state to state. Like, in Texas, you have permission to ride your e-scooter on traffic, bike lanes, or even on sidewalks.

Also, some of the cities put speed limits to avoid any kinds of accidents.
You must be familiar with the laws. Following them will keep you safe and prevent you from receiving a penalty.

Take a look at the website of the Department of Motor Vehicles of your state. The website should contain all the information you need to know about the laws. Cities like New York or San Francisco might have this information on their city website.

If you don’t feel like doing that, you can always go and ask local police.

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A Few of the States Law on Electric Scooter

As you know by now, the laws for riding an electric scooter is different in every state. Let’s go over some of the state’s law on riding the e-scooter down below.

1. Electric Scooter Laws In Alabama

From cities with heavy traffic to cities with utter freedom, Alabama has it all. But unfortunately, electric scooters are not permitted and seen as a dangerous ride in most of the cities of this state.

electeic scooter laws alabama

Electric scooters are considered dangerous in Auburn. You cannot ride them on Tuscaloosa’s streets.

However, the e-scooter is classified as a motor vehicle in Birmingham. As a result, registration tags are required. Also, you must have a motorcycle license to operate the e-scooter on Birmingham’s roads.

These cities do not see the benefit of an e scooter. There are a few safety facts in the e-scooter world that have caused some debate, which makes it difficult for authorities to come up with a system and framework for changing the laws.

They need to take notes from the experiences from the other states and see the track record of the scooter usage. Hopefully, that will be enough to convince them to make it legal in the streets. But for now, it’s not legal in most city streets in this state.

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2. Electric Scooter Laws In Ohio

Ohio gives freedom to the e-scooter riders. You’ll not need a license to drive.

electric scooter laws ohio

Moreover, It is legal to ride electric scooters on the streets and bike lanes. Some cities might have regulations against riding on some specific ordinances. But other than that, Ohio offers the utmost freedom for electric scooter riders.

Even a person doesn’t need to wear a helmet to operate the e-scooter. The helmet laws of the state don’t require it.

But you might have to maintain an identical amount of liability insurance as the motorcycle owners. But someone with a kick scooter or a motorized bicycle doesn’t require any kind of insurance.

All of it allows you to ride your electric scooter with the most freedom and without always having to think about breaking any laws.

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3. Electric Scooter Laws In Washington State

In the state of Washington, the number of electric scooter is increasing day by day. They are seen on the roads, highway shoulders, and on the alleys.

electric scooter laws washington state

But you are not allowed to ride your electric scooter on sidewalks, bike lanes, or any other public walkways. Also, you don’t have permission to ride your e-scooter on roadways that has speed limits exceeding 35 mph.

Also, in Washington, you are not allowed to operate your electric scooters on playgrounds or schoolyards. You probably can guess it’s for safety reasons.

Any rider who suffers from disability might use the e-scooter as the primary way of transportation or increase mobility. For them, using the scooter on any sidewalks, bike lanes, public walkways, and so on are permitted except for the roads that exceed the speed limit of 35 mph.

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4. Seattle Electric Scooter Laws

You’ll get so much freedom in Seattle to ride your e-scooter. You’ll be able to ride it on roadways, highway shoulders, and even in the alleys. But it’s not legal to ride on the sidewalks, bike lanes, or any of the public walkways.

seattle electric scooter laws

They are not allowed to be driven on roads with speed limits higher than 35 mph. Also, you can’t just ride on the playgrounds or the schoolyards as well.

But the people who have a disability can ride their e-scooter on the places mentioned above. Of course, except for the roads exceed the limit of 35 mph speed.

For the scooter riders, there are also guidelines. First of all, you need have to have a good braking system in your e-scooter. That’s to be safe on the road. Also, to avoid excessive noise, the scooter must have a muffler or any kind of noise-suppressing device.

Your scooter must have a light in the front that’s visible from far. (At Least 500 feet) You are allowed to ride it 30 minutes before the sunset.

As you probably know, anyone under the age of 16 is not permitted to ride an electric scooter. Before hitting the road, riders must put on a helmet. If you follow these rules, you’ll be fine in Seattle.

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5. Electric Scooter Laws In California

California’s electric scooter law was passed at the beginning of 2019. They are pretty straight forward.

electric scooter laws California

If you are a rider, you are prohibited to increase the speed above 15 miles per hour on public roads or bike lanes. But you can ride the e-scooters with a speed of 25 miles per hour as some of the areas have permission to do so.

But it’s wise to stay in the 15 mph speed range if you don’t know the layout of which the restriction is more or less.

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6. Electric Scooter Laws In NYC

The NYC state lawmakers have approved electric scooters in NYC. But its cities have the opportunities to regulate the vehicles and see if they will allow the electric scooters or not.

electric scooter laws nyc

Most scooter rental companies are not permitted in some cities. For instance, Manhattan or other densely populated boroughs doesn’t allow the scooter companies to operate inside the city.

But as far as owning your e-scooter, it’s completely legal in New York. But that doesn’t mean that you can go out everywhere freely.

You still have to follow the traffic rules and basic safety rules. That is something you must not break at any cost.

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Electric Scooter laws

Those states are not the only ones that have laws for an electric scooter. As a fast-growing popularity vehicle, electric scooters are being vastly used in many countries and states.

Thus, having a general idea of the fundamental laws will help you ride it safely, no matter where you are.

1. Electric Scooter Age Limit

As a motorized vehicle, you’re probably aware that e-scooters pose some risk of injury. It’s easy for a young kid to get injured while riding the vehicle. Even for adults, accidents can take place in just a matter of seconds.

electric scooter age limit

That’s why most states set the age limit to prevent injuries. In most cases, the age limit is set to 16 years. But as a responsible person, you must not allow a kid under 12 years to ride a motorized vehicle like the electric scooter at any cost.

Even if the vehicle is small, there is a high risk of an accident if a child rides it on the road.

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2. Electric Scooter Helmet Law

Helmets are the pre-requirements for most motorized vehicles. Even for a simple bicycle, you should wear a helmet to ensure the maximum security possible.

electric scooter helmet law

However, an electric scooter moves much faster than a bicycle. An e-scooter’s speed can be twice that of a bicycle.

That’s why you should always wear a helmet before you hit the road. That will save you from the basic injuries. But it also can be something that saves your life afterward.

In most countries, wearing a helmet is a must when it comes to bikes or electric scooters. Breaking the law might cost you a fine.

You should wear protective gear while riding your e-scooter, especially the helmet.

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3. Speed Limit Zones

You have probably seen some speed limit zones already. These are special zones that you must lower your speed.

Speed limit zones are usually marked by a sign. But you must abide by the following rules as well.

When you see pedestrians, you must slow down your electric scooter. It’s recommended to go with a 5 mph speed as it will ensure maximum safety.

Public places, playgrounds are usually prohibited from riding your e-scooter. But if it’s allowed, you must ride it at a considerable speed limit.

speed limit of electric scooter

Also, you must be cautious with the speed in the sidewalks, public walkways, or the bike lanes. Those are areas that might cause accidents. Thus, it’s better to limit your speed to a lower range to avoid any unwanted troubles.

You just need to remember, safety of your ride comes first. Compromising your safety is never an option.

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4. Giving Signals

You must be able to communicate with other riders nearby whether you ride your scooter on the road or anywhere else. Without communication, accidents are most likely to take place.

You can use your hand or some electric devices to do this kind of communication on the road. For the devices, you’ll find hundreds of turn signal lights in the market that are under 15 bucks. Those are also very easy to install, as well.

If you choose to install one, you’ll be able to give signa. The indicator light will show others that you are turning or making a stop. But if you choose to use your hands to communicate, you must know the following gestures.

To signal a right turn, you need to extend your right arm out. Make sure to keep it perpendicular to your body. That’ll tell the other drivers that you are making a right-hand turn.

If you want to make a left-hand turn, raise your left arm just like previously shown. It’s as simple as that.

Finally, if you want to stop completely, extend the left arm out. But this time, you need to bend your arm down at the elbow.

These are the basic communication gestures that you need to know in the streets.

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5. Additional Things to Consider

Laws and regulations are not simple for electric scooters, because it is still a new concept in most countries. Thus, the laws and rules are still developing.

But you should always follow the basic local traffic rules. Not to mention, it will also save you from getting a penalty.

A penalty in most cases can be from 100 dollars to 200 dollars. So, you should never break the traffic rules.

Besides that, having good safety gears is also mandatory if you choose to speedup a little bit. Helmet, knee, and elbow pads will help with that. Do not speed if it is not an absolute necessity.

And if you are riding at night time, you must have a light in the front. That will illuminate your path and show your presence to other vehicles as well.

Adding a red reflector in the back of is another wise measure to make. That will add another level of security that you should consider investing in.

Another thing worth mentioning is that you should not ride any individual along with you in your electric scooter. That’s a surefire way to get fined. The scooter is designed for only a single person. And you should abide by that rule of thumb.

Finally, if you get any confusion or questions about the laws, feel free to discuss it with local police officers. They will provide you with accurate information.

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Frequently Asked Questions About E-Scooter Law

Let’s have a look at some of the most frequently asked questions down below.

1. What is the law on electric scooters in the UK?

The manufacturers are trying to get their scooters on the British city streets as fast as they can. But there are a few rules in the UK that a rider has to follow at all costs.

As a new mode of transportation, there are not many laws for the electric scooter riders in the UK. But there are a few basic ones that you must follow.

The first and foremost law is that the rider must be over 16 years old. kids are not allowed to ride e-scooters on the roads of the UK.

As it’s still on a 12-month trial, you will not get absolute freedom to ride the vehicle. You’ll need a full or provisional driving license to be able to hit the road. This is mandatory.

Other than that, riding an electric scooter on any public land is prohibited and illegal in the UK.

Despite this, the trial will help to increase the probability of e-scooters being available on UK streets.

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2. Are electric scooters legal in the USA?

It’s pretty confusing to understand what constitutes legal or illegal for an electric scooter in the USA. The reason behind it is the US federal law of electric bikes is applied to the electric scooter.

This law restricts the scooter’s top speed to less than 20mph. Furthermore, the motor power must be less than 750 watts. If your scooter meets these specifications, you will not be required to register or obtain a license in most states in the United States.

However, you are probably aware that the rules differ from state to state. You should check your state’s website to verify whether riding an electric scooter is legal. Additionally, simply going to the nearest police station to obtain the information will suffice.

Make sure that you know the laws before you hop onto an e-scooter to save yourself from a penalty.

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3. Electric scooter age limit (Is there any age limit for using the scooters ?)

Yes, there is an age limit for using the electric scooters in most states. For a motorized toy scooter, a kid has to be at least 12 to ride them.

The age limit is set to prevent the number of injuries from rising. No matter how small the ride may be, you can’t deny that a motorized scooter doesn’t involve any risk. It has a good amount of risk.

The number of motorized scooters are increasing drastically. Thus, the number of injuries is also increasing. Last year, roughly 4390 cases of injuries involved a motorized electric scooter.

That’s why kids under the age of 12 should not ride e-scooters. For many states, that number is 16 years.

Now you know everything there is to know about electric scooter laws. Having in-depth knowledge on these laws are crucial if you want to ride your e-scooter safely. Also, following the laws will save you from penalties.

Whenever you are riding your scooter, make sure to have proper safety gear on. That will help you avoid any injuries. An electric scooter can be smaller, but it’s still a motor vehicle. Thus, there is always some risk involved whenever you choose to hit the road with it. You should’ve also got the answer to “Are electric scooters legal on sidewalks?”

Hopefully, you found the information shown above helpful, and hopefully, you’ll be able to use the information for your benefit.

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