Can You Ride An Electric Scooter On Road?

Can You Ride An Electric Scooter On Road

An electric scooter is a fun and practical way to commute short distances. They are usually lightweight and can quickly help you to reach from one place to another. However, some rules and regulations for riding an electric scooter vary from state to state. 

It is essential to follow local and state laws when riding an electric scooter. So before you buy an electric scooter, make sure you know the answer to “can you ride an electric scooter on the road in your state?” 

In this write-up, I will share some general local and state laws for riding an electric scooter. 

Electric Scooter Laws In the United States 

In many areas of the United States, electric scooters have the same laws as electric bicycles. Electric bikes have been on the roads for longer than scooters. From research, there is a lot of data about how electric bikes and scooters affect public well-being. 

Can you ride an electric scooter on the road? Are there more accidents or crashes than traditional scooters? Are electric scooters more reckless? How do people react when they encounter an electric scooter in the way? Answers to such questions help the government to amend existing laws.

To conclude, we can say electric scooters are just like bicycles; there are no extra rules and regulations needed. You can ride an electric scooter on sidewalks, pathways, and streets with bike lanes in many states or cities. There is no need for a license or registration, but some areas have sidewalks that are off-limits. 

Let us read about electric scooter laws in different densely populated states of the United States.

Electric Scooter Laws in California 

In the last few years, electric scooters have been all the rage in the state of California. Many companies rent out electric scooters, including Bird, Limebike, and Spine. People who want to commute in the urban area or move around the city of Los Angeles and San Francisco consider electric scooters to be an attractive and fun way of commuting. The eco-friendly and cost-effective electric scooters have become a trend for short-distance commuting. 

With high demand and surge in popularity, the Government of California has had legislators to look at electric scooter laws. Recently, the California Government introduced a new bill, which states riders can ride an electric scooter with some restrictions. 

The California bill states that an electric scooter rider is prohibited from driving on the highway above the speed of 25 miles per hour. 

Rules 

  • A driver’s license is required for a rider to ride an electric scooter. 
  • Safety is a must, and it is essential to wear a helmet while riding. 
  • The speed limit of riding an electric scooter on the road is 15 miles per hour. 
  • Electric scooters are not allowed on sidewalks. 
  • With 25 miles per hour speed, you can ride an electric scooter on the bike lane. 
  • Can you ride an electric scooter on the road? Yes, it is allowed in California with regular traffic. 

Electric Scooter Laws in Texas 

The Texas Government has more lenient electric scooter laws. A rider can ride an electric scooter, provided the electric scooter is equipped with less than 900W and can be ridden manually, just like an electric scooter. 

Like California, Texas allows riding an electric scooter on a path that is primarily allocated for the operation of bicycles. Texas laws also allow electric scooters on sidewalks and roads with a maximum speed of 35 miles per hour. An electric scooter in Texas uses the same traffic laws applied to bicycles, like obeying the traffic laws and using arms for signal turns. 

In the city of Austin, electric scooters were banned in the city at some time, but they are now allowed with some restrictions. To complicate the matter more, the University of Texas has set its own rules of riding an electric scooter or bicycles. 

electric scooters with headlights on

Electric Scooter Laws In New York 

Can you ride an electric scooter on the road in New York? Sorry, electric scooters are not allowed on streets, pathways, or sidewalks in New York. But with recent government planning, the rules of electric scooters may change soon

Recently, the New York Government has approved pedal-assisted electric bicycles. But there are no such rules for electric scooters yet. 

Electric Scooter Laws In Alabama 

When we talk about electric scooters in Alabama, they are considered motor vehicles, and they need registration tags. Also, a rider needs to get a driving license to ride an electric scooter in the area. 

In the city of Auburn, the government has not allowed electric scooters on the road, citing safety concerns. The city of Tuscaloosa also states that electric scooters are not street-legal vehicles. According to a new law passed in 2019, some cities have embraced electric scooters, while some cities are still debating laws.

Electric Scooter Laws In Arizona 

Yes, any electric scooter with a motor output less than 750 W and a maximum speed of up to 20 miles per hour can be ridden on roads in Arizona. There are no state or local laws in Arizona related to the usage of electric scooters, so federal laws are applied.

Electric scooters are required to have pedals and conform to all safety measures, just like traditional bicycles. Electric scooters that fall under the category can be ridden anywhere where bikes go, including sidewalks or bicycle pavements.

The electric scooters are not allowed in traffic lanes or highways, and not more than one rider can accommodate them. Arizona’s electric scooter policy, scooters that are operated below 20 miles per hour, and bike lanes are approved. There is no requirement for any registration or license. 

Electric Scooter Laws In Michigan 

An electric scooter in Michigan is known as a wheeled vehicle with a deck designed well to be stood on, which is not supposed to be more than 60 inches long and 18 inches wide. It is specially designed for only one person for transportation, has a motor power of not more than 2500 Watts and has a maximum speed of not more than 25 miles per hour.

Electric scooters are only allowed on streets, sidewalks, or highways with a maximum speed limit of 25 miles per hour. Electric scooters must be ridden on the right side of the road. Unless the scooter is equipped with a white light headlight, it cannot run on the road after half an hour of sunset and one hour of sunrise.

The headlight must have a visibility power of 500 feet away and reflectors on the rear. Also, as per the law, riders below 12 years are not allowed to ride an electric scooter on highways and roads. 

man riding via electric scooter on the road

Electric Scooter Laws In Washington 

Can you ride an electric scooter on the roads of Washington? Yes, the Washington Government allows riding an electric scooter on streets, highway shoulders, and alleys. Electric scooters are not permitted on sidewalks, bike lanes, and pathways where the speed limit is above 35 miles per hour. Also, playgrounds and schoolyards are out of bounds for riding an electric scooter. 

Electric Scooter Laws In Florida 

In Florida, electric scooters that do not have seats are not allowed, and they are not legal on streets. No electric scooter without seats should be operated on roads of Florida. There is no compulsion of any registration of an electric scooter, and riders above 16 years are not required to wear a helmet while riding. However, a driving license for an electric scooter is mandatory in Florida; any driving license is accepted. 

Electric Scooter Laws In Delaware 

Can you ride an electric scooter on roads in Delaware? No, electric scooters are not permitted on highways, sidewalks, or streets in the state. They may be pushed along or across public roads and streets. Any person who is below 16 years cannot operate an electric scooter on the roads unless they are wearing their safety gear like helmets and more. 

Electric Scooter Laws In Georgia 

The state of Georgia allows their residents to ride an electric scooter on roads and bike paths with a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less if you are not riding on bike lanes. 

Parting Words

It is essential to know a specific state’s government rules before you head down the road on an electric scooter. Many states and cities allow riding an electric scooter on street roads and sidewalks, while some states do not pass any laws regarding their usage. So before you buy one, make sure you know your area’s electric scooter laws. 

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