E-scooter Laws To Know Before Riding Them in Southern California

Electric scooters are a popular mode of transportation, but they can be dangerous. Scooter accidents involving cars or other vehicles can leave riders seriously injured and struggling to recover. California traffic laws protect scooter riders, but they only work if everyone follows them. Unfortunately, many automobile drivers fail to look out for scooters on the road and cause serious accidents.

Here are the California e-scooter laws you should know if you ride a scooter:

California Vehicle Code §21235 prohibits a motorized scooter operator from taking the following actions:

  • Operating a scooter without a valid driver’s license or learner’s permit
  • Operating a scooter without a fastened and properly fitted helmet unless the operator is over 18 years of age
  • Operating a scooter on a sidewalk, except if necessary to leave or enter an adjoining property
  • Operating a scooter with passengers
  • Operating a scooter while carrying a bundle or package that prevents keeping at least one hand on the handlebars
  • Attaching a scooter to another vehicle while on the road
  • Operating a scooter without a brake that allows a braked wheel to skid on level, clean, and dry pavement
  • Operating a scooter on a roadway with a speed limit above 25 miles an hour unless in a designated bike lane
  • Operating a scooter on a road if the scooter’s handlebars are raised to the point that they require the operator to raise their hands above their shoulders to reach the normal steering grip
  • Leaving a scooter on a sidewalk or parked on a sidewalk in any position limiting the path for pedestrians

California Vehicle Code §22411 prohibits operating a motorized scooter over 15 miles per hour. Exceeding the speed limit can result in a traffic ticket.

California Vehicle Code §21229 requires anyone operating a motorized scooter on a roadway to ride in an established class II bicycle lane except when moving out of the lane is necessary, such as when:

  • Approaching an authorized right-hand turn location
  • Overtaking a pedestrian or vehicle in the lane
  • Avoiding debris and other hazardous conditions

When making a left turn, the operator must stop and get off the scooter as close to the right edge of the road or right-hand curb as possible and complete the turn by crossing the street on foot.

California Vehicle Code §21228 requires anyone operating a motorized scooter on the road at speeds lower than the normal speed of traffic traveling in the same direction to ride as close as possible to the right edge of the road or right-hand curb unless:

  • Preparing to turn left, which requires the operator to stop and dismount the scooter as close to the edge of the roadway as practicable and cross the road by foot to complete the turn
  • Overtaking a vehicle traveling in the same direction
  • Avoiding conditions that make it unsafe to remain along the right edge of the roadway, such as animals, moving or fixed objects, pedestrians, vehicles, surface hazards, or bicycles
  • Operating a scooter as near to the left edge of the roadway or left-hand curb if on a highway with traffic traveling in only one direction and two or more marked traffic lanes

California Vehicle Code §21221 gives motorized scooter operators operating a scooter on the road the same rights and responsibilities as vehicle drivers, including the legal responsibility to avoid driving while impaired. An e-scooter operator who is drunk or impaired can be charged with driving while impaired.

Contact an Experienced E-Scooter Accident Lawyer

Injured in a scooter accident in California caused by someone else? At Sam & Ash Injury Law, we can help you hold the negligent party accountable for the accident and pursue the compensation you need to cover your medical bills and other expenses. We believe you deserve What’s Right.

Call, text, or contact us online today for a free consultation with an experienced e-scooter accident lawyer.

Author: Ash Watkins

Ash started her legal career defending insurance companies against injury victims. She saw how insurance companies treated people who had legitimate injury claims. But she also saw how notoriously sleazy the personal injury lawyers were. Neither side was focused on the injured person, so she decided to do something about it.