How To Ride an Electric Scooter Legally

Toby Bell08 Jun 2022

There's no denying their appeal, and for good reason. Electric scooters are incredibly affordable, long-lasting, and friendly on the planet. They're also easier to maintain and store than cars or electric bikes. Electric scooters are a rapidly growing means of transportation, but their legality is still up in the air.

If you are considering getting an electric scooter, you should first know the rules and regulations governing the ownership and use of an electric scooter in your area.

In many countries, an electric scooter may be used in the same way as a traditional bicycle, making it a convenient mode of transportation. The electric scooter is considered a vehicle in several countries and must meet the same standards as other roadworthy vehicles.

Classifying an electric scooter can be a challenge because it isn't technically a vehicle. It's not quite a car, but it's also not quite a bicycle, either. There are countries, however, where electric motors and vehicles are specifically regulated by legislation. The primary focus of these regulations is usually the top speed at which these vehicles can run. Aside from speed limits, laws also dictate the type of engine these vehicles are allowed to have and the maximum power they are allowed to generate.

We can't say that there’s one electric scooter that has been determined to be completely legal in every country due to the numerous complexities and loopholes that exist. It's important to be aware of the laws in your country before purchasing or using an electric scooter legally, even though the specifics differ from one country to the next.

There's a new ride on the block: electric scooters. They're seen as the beginning of a micro-mobility revolution that will bring low-carbon, low-cost urban transportation to the mainstream. However, they are considered illegal by others. So where can you ride your electric scooter legally?

Here are forward-thinking countries where it's legal to ride your electric scooter:

USA

The United States was one of the first countries to support this more environmentally friendly and time-saving means of transportation. Every state has its own set of laws that are difficult to comprehend given the vastness of the United States, so we'll focus on the two major cities, California and New York.

California E-scooters are legal in California as long as they don't exceed 15mph. If a bike lane is available, riders must utilize it. A scooter can only be used by one person at a time, which is a common rule across the globe. When it comes to licensing and age requirements, California is unique. You can't ride an e-scooter if you're under the age of 16, and you also need a learner's permit. Reflective vests can be worn by scooter riders instead of installing front and rear lights.

New York In New York, driving around is an awful nightmare, and many locals attempt to avoid it at all costs. Those over the age of 16 are allowed to ride an e-scooter in the city as long as they don't go faster than 20mph. If you're 18 or older, you don't have to wear a helmet when riding an electric scooter.

Germany

Germany is among Europe's most forward-thinking countries, and one of the first to allow private electric scooters. Electric scooters, whether shared or privately owned, are subject to several regulations. In Germany, the speed limit for an e-scooter is 20kph. A thorough braking system, front and rear lights, and an easy-to-control scooter are also required. A 70-euro penalty will be imposed on anyone who fails to get an operational license. There must be valid insurance coverage and a sticker on the back for private owners to display. In addition to these limitations, riders are restricted to specific bike tracks and lanes.

France

In France, an e-scooter that exceeds the 25kph speed restriction is banned, and those who do so will be fined 1500euros. Scooters are also prohibited to operate on pavements and you must make sure your e-scooter has front and backlights, a brake, and reflectors.

Singapore

Being one of the largest and most important commercial hubs, Singapore has legalized electric scooters. There are, however, rigorous restrictions in place to protect pedestrians and ensure road safety.  Electric vehicles in Singapore must be approved by the Land Transport Authority, and there are limits on the speed and specifications of e-scooters. Limitations include a maximum speed of 25kph and a limit weight of 20kg for each model. A penalty of $10,000 and up to six months in prison can be imposed if you don't abide by these rules in Singapore. In addition, you'll have to register your scooter and put a safety sticker on it to show that it is registered. E-scooters can't be used on footpaths and there are consequences if you use a phone or other gadget while riding one.

Riding Your Electric Scooter Legally and Safely

As with operating and riding any vehicle of some sort, it's important to know how to ride legally and safely. Here are some tips:

  • Familiarize yourself with your state or city's laws and regulations concerning e-scooters.
  • Wear your helmet and protective gear at all times.
  • Never ride while intoxicated.
  • Don't go over the speed limit.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings.
  • Make sure to check that your e-scooter is in good working order.
  • Avoid riding your e-scooter in bad weather like heavy rain or snow.
  • Always ride alone and never take a passenger with you.
  • Use lights or wear reflective gear when riding at night.

People all around the world can now take advantage of last-mile transportation pleasantly and conveniently with the widespread availability of electric scooters. However, electric scooter rules and regulations still vary depending on the country, state, or city.

It's important to know whether or not you can legally ride an electric scooter where you live. Also keep in mind that your own, as well as others' safety, should always come first. Wearing protective gear, particularly a helmet, can help you avoid serious injury or even death.

Toby Bell

Toby Bell

Toby, a skating fanatic, has recently switched his skateboarding passion into an e-everything passion. E-skateboards, and e-scooters are his new love, and he wanted to share that love with anyone interested.

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