electric scooter and electric skateboard riding laws

In recent years, e-scooters and e-skateboards have surged in popularity as convenient and eco-friendly modes of transportation. However, as with any form of transportation, it’s essential to be aware of the laws and regulations governing their use. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or just starting out, understanding these laws can help ensure your safety and compliance with local ordinances. 

State and Local Regulations

E-scooter and e-skateboard laws can vary significantly from state to state and even from city to city. Some areas have embraced electric micro-mobility, while others have imposed strict regulations or outright bans. Before hitting the streets with your e-scooter or e-skateboard, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the specific laws and regulations in your area. This may include requirements for registration, insurance, and permitted riding locations.

Age Restrictions

Many jurisdictions have age restrictions for riding e-scooters and e-skateboards, often requiring riders to be at least 16 or 18 years old. These restrictions aim to ensure that riders have the maturity and responsibility to operate these vehicles safely. Parents should be aware of these age requirements and supervise younger riders accordingly.

Helmet Laws

Helmet laws for e-scooters and e-skateboards vary depending on the jurisdiction. While some areas mandate helmet use for all riders, others may have no specific helmet requirements. However, regardless of local regulations, wearing a helmet is strongly recommended for all riders to protect against head injuries in the event of a fall or collision. Attorneys at Estey & Bomberger handle injury cases and suggest that even in areas where helmet use is not legally required, it’s crucial to prioritize safety and wear a helmet whenever riding an e-scooter or e-skateboard. Investing in a high-quality helmet that fits properly and meets safety standards can significantly reduce the risk of serious head trauma and ensure a safer riding experience for all.

Legal Riding Locations

The laws governing legal riding locations for e-scooters and e-skateboards can vary significantly depending on the jurisdiction. In many areas, these electric micro-mobility vehicles are permitted on sidewalks, bike lanes, and designated paths, while other locations may have more restrictive regulations. Some cities have implemented specific zoning ordinances or designated areas where e-scooters and e-skateboards are allowed to operate, while others prohibit their use in certain areas, such as busy pedestrian zones or parks. It’s crucial for riders to familiarize themselves with local laws and regulations to ensure compliance and avoid potential fines or penalties for riding in prohibited areas. Additionally, using designated paths or lanes whenever possible can help promote safety and reduce accidents with other road users.

Speed Limits

Speed limits for e-scooters and e-skateboards are often dictated by local regulations. In many areas, there are maximum speed limits imposed on these electric micro-mobility vehicles to ensure the safety of riders and pedestrians. These speed limits typically range from 15 to 20 miles per hour, but they can vary significantly depending on the specific area or designated riding locations. Exceeding the designated speed limit not only poses a safety risk to the rider and others but can also result in fines or penalties for violating local laws. Being aware of the speed limits in the area and adjust riding behavior accordingly is important to ensure legal and safe riding practices.

Traffic Laws

E-scooters and e-skateboards are subject to the same traffic laws as bicycles and pedestrians in most states. These laws typically require riders to obey all traffic signals and signs, including stop signs and traffic lights. Additionally, riders must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and follow designated paths or lanes where applicable. Just like bicyclists, e-scooter and e-skateboard riders are often required to ride in the same direction as traffic, use hand signals to indicate turns, and exercise caution when navigating intersections.

Alcohol and Drug Use

Operating e-scooters and e-skateboards under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal and dangerous. Just like driving a car, impaired riding increases the risk of accidents and injuries to the rider and others. State DUI laws apply similarly to e-scootering and e-skateboarding as they do to operating motor vehicles. In most jurisdictions, riding an e-scooter or e-skateboard while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is considered a violation of DUI laws. Just like driving a car, operating these electric micro-mobility vehicles while impaired poses serious risks to the rider, pedestrians, and other road users. 

Penalties for DUI offenses while riding e-scooters or e-skateboards can include fines, license suspension, and even imprisonment, depending on the severity of the offense and local regulations. Therefore, individuals should always refrain from riding these devices if they have consumed alcohol or drugs, and instead opt for alternative modes of transportation to ensure safety for themselves and others.

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