Long past are the days when kick scooters sped down along busy city streets. Children without licenses are no longer the only ones investing in the newer version of the old school classic form of transportation. Now scooters are being fully revamped in both design and improved propulsion. Be it manual or electric the new street scooter is impressive, however it does come attached with a controversy – is it street legal? Surprisingly many individuals do not know about the legal requirements for operating an electric scooter.
Regulations on Electric Scooters
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, electric scooters does not need to be registered or licensed but drivers need to be at least 16 years old. However, this doesn’t mean there aren’t mandates in place to regulate the use of these devices. In fact, regulations on electric scooters vary from state to state.
While there is no law saying they can’t be ridden outdoors, there are certain restrictions that need to be followed. For one thing, electric scooter drivers must stay on bike lanes, paths, or trails. They aren’t allowed on sidewalks simply because they are motorized and can, therefore, pose as a risk to pedestrians on walkways.
But what about roads without bikeways? Yes, electric scooters can still be driven on roads without bike lanes provided that the speed limit on that particular road is 25mph or less and the driver stays on the far right lane unless he or she is about to make a left turn.
When you think about it, this actually makes sense as 25mph is the fastest most electric scooters in the market can go. Prohibiting the use of these scooters on fast-paced highways ensures the safety of not only the driver, but also of other motorists.
Should You Get an Electric Scooter?
These scooters are better for the environment and run much more quietly than their cousin, the gas powered scooter. Although more expensive up front than a gas run model, the overall performance of a street scooter has multiple variables: rider weight, speed, and the length of operating time. Initially flawless, the only real issue with an electric scooter is the recharging cycle. Unlike other electronic operated vehicles, the electric street scooter needs a recharge after every trip out and the recharging process is unfortunately quite long (versus the gasoline powered street scooters that can run whenever necessary as long as it has gas in the tank). Even with the newer lithium batteries, electric scooters won’t last for a full day.
Nevertheless, electric scooters do make for a great investment if you want a vehicle which you can use to run quick errands. They are much more affordable and economical compared to cars and most importantly (for some people at least) they significantly lower your carbon footprint. They will save you time and frustration from having to line up at the DMV to get a license or to have your scooter registered. Lastly, you can say bye forever to ticket fines as laws and regulations are much more lenient for electric scooters.