Can You Ride Electric Scooters on the Sidewalk in California?

Can You Ride Electric Scooters on the Sidewalk in California?

Like many states, the electric scooter phenomenon has spread throughout California. While these vehicles offer an inexpensive and convenient method of transportation, there are important limitations on what you can do with them. For the most part, you must keep your e-scooter off of the sidewalks in California.  

There are some limited exceptions for parking your scooter, but these do not apply in most situations. Despite these strict limits, there are many other options for traveling via e-scooter in the State of California.  

Despite their convenience, e-scooters also come with serious risks. They offer little protection for their riders in cases of collisions, and the injuries that can occur are often severe. If you sustained an injury in an e-scooter accident through no fault of your own, let a dedicated Los Angeles e-scooter accident lawyer as soon as possible.  

E-scooter sidewalk laws 

The operation of e-scooters in California is governed by California Rules of the Road Section 21235. According to the statute, it is unlawful to ride a motorized scooter on the sidewalk outside of a single limited exception. This exception allows you to cross over a sidewalk when it is necessary to enter or leave adjacent property.  

The statue also allows you to park your e-scooter on the sidewalk, but only if you comply with some specific guidelines. You may not park your motorized scooter by laying it on its side. Additionally, it is illegal to park your scooter in a way that blocks the sidewalk or impedes foot traffic. Outside of these exceptions, the law allows you to park your e-scooter there unless city or county ordinances prevent it.  

Where you can ride an e-scooter 

Riding on the sidewalk may be illegal, but you do have other options for getting around on your e-scooter. For starters, California law allows you to ride your scooter on any street with a speed limit of 25 miles per hour or below. In these situations, you may not operate your scooter at a speed higher than 15 miles per hour.  

There are some limited areas where you can operate a motorized scooter on roads with a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or below. This is only allowed when the city where the road is located passes an ordinance allowing e-scooters on these roadways. Despite the higher speed limit for cars and trucks, motorized scooters may not travel faster than 15 miles per hour on these stretches of road, either. Any road or highway with a speed limit above 35 miles per hour is off-limits to e-scooters.  

There are other options outside of driving directly on the roadway with your motorized scooter. State law also designates certain pathways as bikeways, which are intended for bicycles as well as e-scooters. These bikeways come in different classifications, and two of them allow the use of e-scooters. The first is known as a Class II bikeway. It is essentially a bike path attached to the side of the road. Class IV bikeways are also available to motor scooter operators. These are more than single lanes. Instead, a Class IV bikeway features a physical barrier between it and the street. These barriers can include cones, rails, or walls among other things. Unlike a Class II bikeway, a Class IV bikeway can travel in one or two directions. In both of these bikeways, you may not operate your motorized scooter above 15 miles per hour.  

Let an attorney help with your e-scooter accident  

The unfortunate reality is that accidents can happen even when you carefully abide by the rules of using an e-scooter in California. Despite your best efforts, negligent motorists can fail to yield the right of way or even enter a bike lane. When these accidents occur through no fault of your own, you have the right to pursue an injury claim against the negligent motorist.  

These accidents routinely lead to severe injuries given the lack of protection e-scooters offer. If you are dealing with an injury following an e-scooter crash, Ellis Law can help. Schedule a free consultation with a Los Angeles personal injury attorney as soon as possible.