E-scooters are become more and more common in California, which means that e-scooter accidents are becoming more common too. At Law Offices of Michael A. Kahn we find that many people do not realize that there are very specific laws that affect the legality of using these scooters. They also do not often realize who can be found at-fault for accidents involving e-scooters. Keep reading to get the facts and then contact us at (310) 209-1600 for a free legal consultation.
California Laws for E-Scooter Use
The state of California defines electric/motorized scooters as devices that have two wheels, handlebars, and a floorboard that is made for the user to stand on while using the scooter. Scooters do not need license plates. They do not need to be registered or insured. People do not need special driver’s licenses to operate scooters. Note that this only applies to the state of California as a whole. Local authorities may have additional regulations about how can be used, where they can be parked, and who can operate them.
Rules for Using E-Scooters
Laws limiting the use of e-scooters are as much to protect those on the scooters as they are to help prevent against car and pedestrian accidents. The laws require that a person on an e-scooter wears a helmet if they are under 18 years old. Scooters must have brakes that can enable the scooters to stop on clean, dry pavement.
Those driving e-scooters do not need a special license to do so but they do need a driver’s license or instruction permit. It is illegal to have more than one person on a scooter, it is illegal to carry a package (or anything else) that prevents the user from having at least one hand on the handlebars. As is true of any vehicle, it is illegal to use a scooter if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Electric scooters are not permitted to drive more than 15 miles per hour no matter the posted speed limit for other vehicles. Scooters cannot be used on highways with speed limits of higher than 25 miles per hour, though there are a few exceptions. For example, in some areas a local ordinance makes it legal to travel on a highway with a speed limit of up to 35 miles per hour.
Determining Fault in an E-Scooter Accident
There are many ways e-scooter accidents can occur, including the user losing control, a vehicle hitting the e-scooter in a bike lane, or even a pedestrian falling over an abandoned e-scooter. Fault, as in most types of accidents, is determined by who acted negligently or recklessly. If you were injured in an e-scooter accident and believe that someone else was at fault, you are welcome to contact Law Offices of Michael A. Kahn at (310) 209-1600 for a free legal consultation.