Electric Scooters On The Road – Is It Allowed?


Updated on December 28, 2020
Road Use Of An E-Scooter

Can you ride electric scooters on the road? Yes, but electric scooter laws can get tricky from state to state.

The US doesn’t recognize electric scooters as being street legal as it lacks certain safety requirements like lights and mirrors. Most importantly electric scooter riders don’t need a driver’s license or insurance.

This is commonly seen in other street-legal vehicles like cars, mopeds, and motorcycles. This post will address some of the questions surrounding the road use of an electric scooter.

Can Electric Scooters Be Used On The Road?

Yes, as we mentioned electric scooters can be used on the road. Electric scooters are deemed mostly legal in the United States.

Although scooter laws in the United States can get a little dicey. Riders should be mindful of rules and regulations for their area traffic laws.

For example, states like Colorado consider an electric scooter to be toys and require users to ride only on sidewalks. Other states like texas are more open with their laws. Allowing for electric scooters to be ridden on the road with traffic, in the bike lane or sidewalk.

It’s a good idea to wear a helmet and stick closely to the bike lane. Electric scooters are still relatively new and offer a unique problem for cities.

E-Scooter renters don’t follow traditional road rules bouncing in out of sidewalks and bike lanes. Because there isn’t any set speed limit scooter riders can move quickly wizz through sidewalks interfering with pedestrians.

Can I Ride My Electric Scooter In Animal Crossing?

We couldn’t sight unanimous answer for this question. Typically electric scooters must be walked across major animal crossings or intersections. As always rules can vary from state to state so be sure to look at your local laws.

What Is The Law On Electric Scooters In NYC

Current lawmakers seemingly fight new laws on electric scooters and electric bikes at every turn. As an example, New York has had an arduous past with scooter laws.

As of August 2, 2020, New York laws were finally put into place to allow people to operate them on some streets and highways.

Even more of a surprise New York lawmakers will also allow companies like Lime and Bird to operate the rental scooters in 2021. So as you can tell laws on electric scooters are always evolving and can change from year to year.

Soon New Yorkers will notice the typical scenario we’ve all dealt with. A myriad of city dwellers whizzing around and about along city streets on their electric scooters.

It’s a clear indication that electric scooters popularity will continue to rise into the future. 

What Is The Law On Electric Scooters UK?

On the other hand, Britain deems e-scooters as illegal due to its existing laws, some of which date back to the Victorian era.

Despite its popularity pushed by the strides in technology. Both Londoners and New Yorkers seemed to be in some quagmire when it comes to e-scooting. Even though they are readily available, and cheap. The mounting evidence cannot go unseen. 

There is a record number of city dwellers commuting with electric scooters. It’s still within every cop’s right to pull you over once you hit the road.

Also known as PLEV (Personal Light Electric Vehicle), they don’t usually get subjected to tax registration. As such, cannot obtain authorization for use on UK roads.

Despite the illegalities involved. People continue to buy e-scooters since they are easy to navigate and are a great source of beating traffic.

Do You Really Need a Helmet For An Electric Scooter?

Well, in some places, it’s a requirement that you wear a helmet. while in other areas; it’s entirely out of your own volition.

But if below the age of 18 you may have no choice in the matter. States like California require riders under the age of 18 to wear helmets. This is a must for all motorized vehicles, including electric scooters of any type.

Given that such contraptions can attain maximum speeds of 25 mph. Crashing into a vehicle, obstacle, or falling off without a helmet can result in serious injuries. In as much as they are not appealing, their safety function should is essential.

It is very well known to cyclists. However, as is often the case with every new and upcoming technology.

E-scooter riders aren’t sure whether helmets are appropriate or which ones offer better protection.

Emily Hartridge, a YouTube star, and a UK television presenter. Is believed to be the first accidental death statistic involving an e-scooter.

The associated press reported that as of the beginning of 2018, at least 11 e-scooter drivers have died in road accidents.

Since the laws around scooter usage are struggling to keep up with the popularity. 

Electric scooter companies aren’t required to come up with safety features. Hence, the road use of an e-scooter becomes quite risky. Most of them have only one brake leading to reduced stoppage time.

There’s a need for proper regulation and the existence of fines. That’s according to the CEO of Scooting Limited, Itzik Ben Ahrol.

With such policies in play, there’s no need for safety and security features for riders such as helmets. In the US, the question of helmet usage is ongoing.

In light of e-scooter injuries increasing between 2014 – 2018. We guess that it will most likely sail through.

George Freeman, the minister of transport, speaking to the Times. Reiterated that the Department of Transport welcomes changes and innovations.

They are willing to improve road safety. He insists that it’s a welcome change and hopes for its faster implementation.

According to CDC, e-scooters are responsible for 20% of traumatic brain injuries. Our take is that you should double-check your e-scooter regulator’s position.

When it comes to helmets and find out whether it’s compulsory. It is always better to wear one even if it’s not mandatory. It’s better to adhere to the adage, better safe than sorry.

How Fast Do Street Legal Scooters Go?

We cannot talk about safety without touching on speed. As an e-scooter, you must know your limits when it comes to speed.

Whether an e-scooter is legal will depend on an individual country or state. Generally, an e-scooter shouldn’t exceed the 20 mph mark. Most states in the US set up laws to limit the speed between 15-20 miles per hour.

The introduction of street-legal scooters on the highways could poses a significant threat to cyclists. Since they are perceived to bulldoze their way and overshadow traditional cyclists.

It highly seems to them that life on the bike lane is definitely going to be living on the fast lane. Advocates are aware of the battery-powered electric bikes, and the likelihood of electric scooters getting legalized. They are keen to ensure that the peddler isn’t overwhelmed.

Polly ‘Trotenberg, the Assistant Commissioner for the Department of Transport. Says that they are already looking into the workings of how e-scooters could blend into the already existing city’s cycling infrastructure.

It means that e-scooters having the ability to reach 20 miles per hour would fly past cyclists averaging 10-13 miles per hour. 

It prompted Steve Vaccaro, a lawyer representing the injured cyclists. To demand a maximum speed of 15 mph, which currently works in Los Angeles.

He insists that if the speed limit gets capped at 15 miles per hour, there wouldn’t be any enforcement problems. This might be a perfect way for e-scooters and bikes to be allies.

Do You Need A License for Electric Scooters?

Although, when it comes to answering the question, “Do you need a license for an electric scooter?” the answer is Yes and No. 

Currently, the federal government does not require electric scooter drivers to obtain a license, but that may change with time. The law does vary from one state to the next. We recently wrote a post about this vary topic that expands much more into the specifics.

What Electric Scooters Are Street Legal?

Due to the current gas prices, e-scooters are becoming the norm since they are fast and need less fuel.

However, if you don’t have a license and want to drive an e-scooter, you’ll need a street legal scooter. For starters, what determines its legality is the engine size. 

In most states across the US, if your engine doesn’t surpass 49 cc, it means you are street legal. 49 cc and below get regarded as street legal.

Such rules usually apply from state to state, so speak with your local DMV to be sure of what rules apply.

Electric scooters are a new form of transport and laws are ever-changing. If you’re uncertain about the best street-legal electric scooter out on the market.

We compiled a list of the top 4 e-scooters that fits some of the legal obligations mention in this post.

Gotrax XR Ultra Electric Scooter

The Gotrax XR Ultra comes equipped with a 300 volts electric motor. It may not be the strongest or powerful motor out there, but it sure handles the job quite well on even or straight surfaces.

It comes with a 36 Volts battery pack, which, according to GOTRAX, can last between 17 miles (a maximum of 19 km) on a single charge. It is more than your typical daily commute.

The top speed is 15.5 mph/25 kph, which is perfect in the typical city strolling. The GLX has a simple folding mechanism where the XR folds and pulls. The back wheel fold towards the rear fender hence hooking it to the rear fender buckle for easy storage and transport. 

Segway Ninebot Electric Kick Scooter

It comes installed with a powerful 300 W electric motor and can reach speeds of 1556 mph/ 30 kph traveling up to 40 miles. It typically gets designed in such a way that it has a one-step folding system for secure handling and portability.

The folding process takes a mere three seconds whereby you could carry it on public transport, your private car, or any location that you desire without much fuss.

It ensures a safe and comfortable handling experience with its featured anti-lock braking system that provides a smooth braking experience.

The front and rear tires typically get equipped with shock absorbers that ensure comfort on rough surfaces.

It comes with cruise control, different riding modes, Bluetooth, among other features to enhance your handling experience. 

Hiboy S2 Electric Scooter

Hiboy S2 Electric Scooter with Seat
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It comes with a powerful 350 W electric motor with speeds reaching up to 18.6 mph/ 30 kph. It’s fitted with a high capacity battery with a potential range of 17 miles under specific conditions.

For its handling, its features comprised of an anti-locking braking system and a disc braking system.

Your scooter can be locked by downloading a Hi-Boy app and pairing it with your scooter via Bluetooth.

It also easily collapses for easy storage in subway seats, car trunks, and other compartment spaces. 

Xiaomi Mi Electrical Scooter

The Xiaomi Mi electric scooter comes with an inbuilt 250 W motor averaging a speed of 15.5 mph/ 25 kph. It can travel up to a maximum range of 18.6 mph/ 30 kph under specific conditions.

For its handling, it comes with a portable, easy folding design for easy carrying or home storage.

It comes with a dual braking system, namely the eABS anti-lock braking system and disc braking system. It has a user-friendly and straightforward control learning system that enhances user security.  

Conclusion

The technology bug has caught up with us. As more people explore alternative modes of transports, we cannot deny the fact that electric scooters are here to stay. Despite various legal hurdles, the e-scooter will soon find its way and endear to people’s hearts.

Further, their eco-friendliness comes at an advantage to the cities by cutting down pollution. It’s simply mind-boggling. National regulations in both cities cannot find a balancing point. 

Between people’s enthusiasm for e-scooters, and e-scooter rental companies’ ambitions. There is a need to ensure safety for both pedestrians, e-scooters and other motorists.

Every one of these riders will ultimately share the roads with them.

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