Do You Need a License to Ride an Electric Scooter in California?
Under California law, electric scooter, or E-scooter, riders must hold a valid driver’s license. The class of license does not matter. The major E-scooter rental companies, Bird and Lime, require riders to submit a scanned photo of their license into the app prior to riding an E-scooter. Riders with a learner’s permit are allowed to rent E-scooters.
As the popularity of E-scooters, or dockless scooters, has soared in southern California, so have the number of accidents. Local emergency rooms see E-scooter accident victims on a daily basis. Nationally, at least eight people have died in accidents involving E-scooters.
E-scooters do not differ a great deal from mopeds, but these two vehicles are treated differently by the law. A moped requires a motorcycle license, while an E-scooter requires a driver’s license. However, using an E-scooter resembles riding a moped much more than driving an automobile.
A Los Angeles E-scooter accident lawyer at Ellis Injury Law can help you receive the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries. We will protect your rights and hold the party responsible for your injuries accountable. Our dedicated lawyers have recovered millions of dollars for clients due to another party’s negligence or recklessness.
Electric scooter specifics
California law defines E-scooter as a “two-wheeled vehicle with handlebars and a floorboard that the user can stand on.” As an electric vehicle, the E-scooter has an electric motor. Many E-scooters include a driver’s seat, but such seats are not mandatory.
Other California electric scooter regulations
A driver’s license is not the only requirement for riding an E-scooter in California. Riders must always wear a helmet, and face a citation if caught riding without head protection. Of course, E-scooter riders must obey the rules of the road.
E-scooters are not permitted to travel faster than 15 miles per hour. This is the vehicle’s maximum speed, although faulty brakes or malfunctioning accelerators have caused E-scooters to go faster, resulting in accidents. E-scooters are only permitted on public roadways with maximum speed limits of 25 mph. They are allowed to use dedicated bike lanes.
Passengers are not permitted on E-scooters.
E-scooters are subject to the same laws as other vehicles, and that means it is illegal to ride them on the sidewalk. Bird and Lime must post a warning not to ride on sidewalks on their app. Ignorance of the law is never a defense, but in this case, it is clear that the rider has been informed.
E-scooters do not require insurance, registration or license plates.
Electric Scooter trip and falls
An E-scooter does not have to move to cause a serious accident. Part of the E-scooter’s appeal is the fact that the rider can leave it wherever they please once they reach their destination. E-scooters carelessly scattered on sidewalks and walkways have contributed to many pedestrian trip and fall accidents. Los Angeles requires that riders leave scooters parked upright and on the sidewalk’s outer edge. It is permissible to leave them in this manner near parking meters, benches, and advertising kiosks. Unfortunately, this requirement is widely flouted.
Los Angeles recently passed legislation to deal with E-scooters left where they become hazardous. Bird and Lime now have just two hours to remove E-scooters from sidewalks or anywhere else they pose a trip and fall threat. This regelation is in force between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. If Bird or Lime do not remove the E-scooters within the two-hour window, a city employee will remove it and the company in question must pay a $28.21 per hour fee.
Contact a Los Angeles electric scooter accident lawyer
If you were injured in an E-scooter accident, either as a rider or the victim of a collision with this motorized vehicle, you need the services of an E-scooter accident attorney at Ellis Injury Law. Text or call us 24/7 or submit our online form to schedule a free consultation. Do not agree to a settlement with the insurance company until obtaining legal counsel.
We will review your claim and advise you of your options. Our lawyers are familiar with the technical issues and mechanical problems relating to E-scooters. We will investigate your case so that you may receive justice. Because we work on a contingency basis, there is never a fee unless we win.