What Are the Regulations for E-Scooters in Los Angeles?
At least before the coronavirus pandemic shut folks up inside their homes, e-scooters had become a ubiquitous presence on California roads, especially on beaches, downtown, or other tourist areas. Electric scooters present a cheap alternative to taxis and cars and may be more convenient than riding a bike or walking an extended distance. They do, however, pose risks to riders, pedestrians, and other motorists. Scooters fit into a bit of a gray area in terms of regulation when they first became prominent, but California and Los Angeles officials have taken steps to ensure the safety of citizens by clarifying existing regulations and enacting specific e-scooter regulations where necessary. Below, we discuss the regulations that apply to e-scooters in Los Angeles. If you’ve been hurt while riding an electric scooter, or if you were involved in an accident with an e-scooter in Los Angeles, call a seasoned Glendale electric scooter accident attorney for help.
Electric scooters are classified as “motorized scooters” under the law. In California, that means that riders must have a valid driver’s license or instructional driving permit.
Until recently, riders of electric scooters were required to wear helmets while riding on California roadways. In September 2018, Governor Newsom signed into law a new set of requirements specific to e-scooters. Under the new regulations, scooter riders under the age of 18 must wear a helmet, but adult riders aged 18 and over are permitted to ride without a helmet.
E-scooters cannot ride everywhere
E-scooters are motorized vehicles. Riding on an e-scooter is not the same as being a pedestrian. Under the law, e-scooters cannot be operated on the sidewalk other than to enter or leave adjacent property. Scooters can be ridden on the road, like bicycles and mopeds, but they must use a bike lane where available. Scooters cannot generally be ridden on highways or other roads with speed limits that exceed 25 mph and that lack a bike lane, although local authorities can permit e-scooters on roads with speed limits up to 35 mph.
State law sets a speed limit of 15 mph for electric scooters. The 15 mph limit applies even if local law permits e-scooters on roads with speed limits up to 35 mph.
One of the biggest complaints by pedestrians, drivers, and bike riders regarding e-scooters is that riders leave them just about anywhere, obstructing walkways and the flow of traffic. Under the current law, an e-scooter cannot be left on its side on a sidewalk or parked at all on a sidewalk if it obstructs an adequate flow for pedestrian traffic. Los Angeles regulations also require e-scooter rental companies such as Lime and Bird to clear e-scooters from sidewalks and areas where they might otherwise create hazards.
According to state law, e-scooter operators cannot have passengers. Riders must ride alone.
Get Help With a California E-Scooter Injury Claim
If you were injured in an accident involving an e-scooter in California, get help from a dedicated legal professional by contacting the passionate and effective Glendale personal injury attorneys at McReynolds Vardanyan LLP for a free consultation at 818-855-2115.