October 4, 2023


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Dolan: Here are some of the rules and regulations for electric scooters | News


What are the policies and polices for electric powered scooters?

By Christopher B. Dolan and Cioffi Remmer

Electric powered scooters are in all places. I see them on the road. I see them on the sidewalk. I see them on bicycle lanes. Some men and women experience by itself, and many others experience in pairs. Some folks use helmets although other folks don’t even trouble. It all appears unsafe and arbitrary to me. What are the principles and regulations for electric powered scooters? Whatsoever they are. I have a feeling people today are not next them. 

Dom, San Francisco: 

Hi, Dom. Thank you for your question. With the popularity of different transportation, residents of San Francisco and other metropolitan parts are using to bicycles, electric powered bicycles (e-bikes), and even a lot quicker growth — electrical scooters (e-scooters) as their preferred mode of transportation. California has not been gradual in recognizing the trend and implementing polices to guard the community by passing legislation pinpointing the obligations of e-scooter riders and operators. 

When e-scooters initial hit the scene, riders, pedestrians and motorists had been confused about regardless of whether these fast two-wheel individuals-movers ended up to be dealt with like bicycles or motorcycles in conditions of roadway restrictions and rider protection.  For instance, before introducing e-scooters on town streets, California Automobile Code area 21200-21213 involved the operation of bicycles. These sections regulated troubles these kinds of as the bodily properties of bicycles, e.g., top of handlebar protection characteristics, e.g., brake prerequisites and lamp demands area of operation, e.g., bike lanes, roadway, and many others. and operator basic safety apparel, e.g., helmets for riders underneath 18 decades old.  

The most important challenges that riders, motorists and pedestrians alike want to know are:

  • Are e-scooters are authorized to trip on sidewalks (which might pose a security threat to pedestrians)? 

  • Are they restricted to bicycle lanes? Can they ride in the traffic lanes?  

  • Are helmets expected?  

These are all comparable concerns that have been earlier determined by the Legislature in regulating bicycles. 

For bicycles, it has been well proven in California that individual cities or counties manage procedures relating to riding bicycles on sidewalks, pursuant to CVC 21206. For case in point, in San Francisco, The Metropolis produced it illegal to journey a bicycle on the sidewalk if you are about the age of 13. (San Francisco Transportation Code Sec. 7.2.12). The metropolis of Los Angeles only prohibits bike-using on a sidewalk “in a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of people or property.” (Los Angeles Municipal Code area 56.15). 

Cyclists may perhaps ride in the website traffic lanes and must obey the targeted traffic rules even so, they will have to use the bicycle lane if they are going at a lot less than the typical speed of website traffic in the very same way, according to part 21208 of the Car Code. As for helmets, Car or truck Code portion 21202 involves a helmet for any bicycle rider beneath the age of 18.

Alternatively of dropping e-scooters into these many vehicle code sections along with bicycles, the Legislature has specified and codified policies relating to e-scooters in a independent Auto Code area, 21235. According to the Vehicle Code, e-scooters may possibly not be operated on the sidewalk other than as is required to enter or leave adjacent home.  As we can see, the legislators did not depart this decision up to the unique counties, cities, or municipalities.  

The code becomes tough when regulating the speed e-scooters could work and on which varieties of highways or roadways e-scooters may well be operated. E-scooters are restricted to a most speed of 15 mph, no matter what sort of highway it is ridden on, pursuant to Motor vehicle Code sections 21235(b) and 22411. Concerning visitors lanes and bicycle lanes, e-scooters are permitted to be ridden in bike lanes and targeted visitors lanes on roadways with a velocity restrict of up to 25 mph.  The Legislature leaves it up to regional authorities to authorize the operation of an e-scooter on Class II or Course IV bikeways on highways with a pace limit of up to 35 mph.  This usually means that in no situations are e-scooters authorized to be operated on highways with a velocity limit previously mentioned 35 mp.  

As for helmets, riders below the age of 18 many years aged must use just one. In addition, contrary to bicycles, riders ought to have a valid driver’s license or instruction allow to operate an e-scooter.  Definitely, riders must familiarize on their own with California Automobile Code and their local laws relating to riding e-scooters. Moreover, even though it may perhaps not be required by regulation if you are an grownup, riders need to constantly follow fantastic protection and make use of a helmet.    


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Christopher B. Dolan is the owner of the Dolan Regulation Company. Cioffi Remmer is a senior trial lawyer in our Los Angeles business office. We provide clientele during the San Francisco Bay Area and California from our places of work in San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles. Email questions and subjects for upcoming article content to: [email protected]. Each individual scenario is distinctive, and this column does not constitute legal assistance. We suggest that you consult with with an seasoned demo attorney to totally have an understanding of your legal rights.


How to ruie e-scooters lawfully and safely in California


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