Electric scooters have become increasingly popular in recent years as a mode of transportation and recreation. With their convenience, ease of use, and eco-friendliness, it’s no wonder that people are choosing to use them as an alternative to cars or bicycles. However, the legality of scooters can be a bit confusing, especially in California. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the rules and regulations surrounding electric scooters in the state of California.
Are Electric Scooters Legal in California?
Yes, electric scooters are legal in California, but there are rules and regulations that must be followed. In 2018, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that created a new category of vehicle called an “electrically motorized board” (EMB), which includes electric scooters. This law allows electric scooters to be used on public roads and bike paths, but there are certain restrictions in place.
Requirements for Electric Scooter Riders
Electric scooter riders must follow specific requirements to ensure their safety and the safety of others. In this article, we will discuss the requirements for electric scooter riders in California.
- Age Requirements
In California, electric scooter riders must be at least 16 years old to ride on public roads and bike lanes. Riders under the age of 18 must wear a helmet while riding. It is important to note that different cities may have their own age requirements for electric scooter riders, so it is best to check local regulations before riding.
- Helmet Requirements
All electric scooter riders in California are required to wear a helmet while riding. This applies to riders of all ages, regardless of whether they are on public roads or private property. The helmet must meet the safety standards set by the U.S. Department of Transportation or the American National Standards Institute.
- Speed Limits
Electric scooters in California are not allowed to go faster than 15 miles per hour. This speed limit applies to all riders, regardless of age or experience level. Riders who exceed the speed limit may be subject to fines or other penalties.
- Riding on the Road
Electric scooter riders in California must ride in bike lanes or on the right-hand side of the road. Riders are not allowed to ride on sidewalks or in pedestrian areas, except when entering or exiting a roadway. Riders must also yield to pedestrians when crossing a sidewalk or crosswalk.
- Yield to Traffic Signals and Signs
Electric scooter riders in California must obey all traffic signals and signs, including stop signs and traffic lights. Failure to do so can result in fines or other penalties.
- No Riding Under the Influence
It is illegal to ride an electric scooter under the influence of drugs or alcohol in California. Riders who violate this requirement may face fines, imprisonment, or both.
Electric scooters must be parked in designated areas, such as bike racks or designated parking spots. Riders are not allowed to leave electric scooters blocking sidewalks or other pedestrian areas.
In addition to these requirements, electric scooter riders in California should always be aware of their surroundings and practice safe riding habits. This includes staying alert, using hand signals when turning, and avoiding distractions such as texting or using a phone while riding.
Speed and Power Limits for Electric Scooters
Electric scooters in California are limited to a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour. Additionally, they are not allowed to have motors with a power output greater than 750 watts. This means that some of the more powerful electric scooters on the market may not be legal to use in California.
Where Can You Ride Electric Scooters?
As mentioned earlier, electric scooters are not allowed on sidewalks in California. However, they are permitted on bike lanes, roads, and streets with speed limits of 35 miles per hour or less. It’s worth noting that local municipalities can set their own rules regarding electric scooter use, so it’s important to check with your city or town to see if there are any additional restrictions in place.
Electric scooters can be a fun and convenient way to get around, but it’s important to remember that they can be dangerous if not used properly. In addition to wearing a helmet, riders should also follow all traffic laws, including using hand signals when turning and obeying traffic signals. It’s also important to be aware of your surroundings and watch out for pedestrians and other vehicles.
Electric scooters are legal in California, but there are rules and regulations that must be followed. Riders must be at least 16 years old, have a valid driver’s license or permit, and wear a helmet at all times. Electric scooters are not allowed on sidewalks, but they can be ridden on bike lanes, roads, and streets with speed limits of 35 miles per hour or less. As with any mode of transportation, safety should always be a top priority.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Are electric scooters legal to ride on public roads in California?
Yes, electric scooters are legal to ride on public roads in California, but they must be operated in accordance with specific rules and regulations.
- What are the age restrictions for riding electric scooters in California?
In California, electric scooter riders must be at least 16 years old to ride on public roads and bike lanes.
- Do I need a license to ride an electric scooter in California?
No, you do not need a driver’s license to ride an electric scooter in California.
- Can I ride an electric scooter on the sidewalk in California?
No, electric scooters are not allowed to be ridden on the sidewalk in California, except when entering or exiting a roadway.
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