An e-scooter, or electric scooter, is a motorized eco-friendly vehicle with two wheels, a floorboard, and handlebars. Although they have been around for some time, they became more popular during the pandemic. They are convenient and cost little to maintain. You can operate an e-scooter in California without registering the e-scooter with the DMV.
However, despite their popularity, there are still accidents and other issues that can occur. Read on to learn more about e-scooter laws in California and how Setareh Law can help if you were injured due to an e-scooter accident.
E-Scooter Laws in California
Some important e-scooter laws to know in California include:
Electric Scooters Must Follow Traffic Laws
The California Vehicle Code 21221 requires e-scooter drivers to follow traffic rules like all other motorists unless they cannot be applied. This rule acts as a “catch-all” law, and e-scooters have the same rights and responsibilities as other motorists. Therefore, drunk e-scooter driving can lead to a DUI charge and a ticket of about $350.
Minors Must Wear Helmets
The California Vehicle Code 21235 requires that riders under the age of 18 wear bicycle helmets when driving an e-scooter. The helmet must be a good fit and should be fastened. Adults no longer have to comply with this requirement due to recent amendments to the code. Although many e-scooter companies still recommend that all riders wear helmets, adults are not required to. Violating this regulation could lead to a ticket of about $200.
Stay Off Sidewalks and Have a Valid License
To supplement the helmet rule, the California Vehicle Code 21235 forbids the following:
- Riding an e-scooter on a sidewalk. Exceptions are allowed when parking or getting a parked scooter onto the street.
- Tandem ride, which is riding with a passenger on an e-scooter
- Riding an e-scooter without a valid driver’s license or learner’s permit
Violating these rules can be penalized with tickets of about $200. Sidewalks are also considered crosswalks (street intersections at right angles). This means it is a violation to ride an e-scooter on a sidewalk, and therefore it is also a violation to ride an e-scooter on a crosswalk. This violation attracts a $200 ticket.
Use Bike Lanes
The California Vehicle Code 21229 requires that e-scooters only be ridden on bike paths or bike lanes when one is available. The code refers to it as a “Class II Bicycle Lane,” which is a lane on the right edge of a street with a white line on either side and a bicycle symbol within the white borders. California law only allows four exceptions for riding in these lanes, which include:
- When completing a left-hand turn
- When turning right
- When passing another vehicle or pedestrian
- To avoid hazards or debris in the bike lane
This lane only accommodates one-way riding.
E-Scooters Can’t Go Over 15 MPH
The California Vehicle Code 22411 places a 15 mph speed limit on e-scooters. Going above this limit can lead to being pulled over and getting a ticket of up to $250. Some e-scooter sharing companies design their scooter to only go up to 15 mph.
Dismount and Walk for Left-Hand Turns
The California Vehicle Code 21228 requires that e-scooter operators must turn left by:
- Crossing the roadway on foot
- Dismounting or going down the scooter
- Stopping after the intersection on the right curb
These rules are meant to avoid accidents with scooters and pedestrians.
What If You Get Injured In an E-Scooter Accident?
California law allows e-scooter accident victims to claim compensation for their losses. In order to do so, you must establish the cause of the accident and, thus, the at-fault party. Some common causes are:
- Other driver negligence
- Poorly maintained roads
- Faulty or defective parts
The compensation in an e-scooter accident does not differ from other personal injury claims. The exact amount you receive will depend on the severity of your injuries and the extent to which the injuries have affected your life. Some areas you can get compensated include:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Lost the ability to work
- Pain and suffering, among others
You must draw a direct link between the defendant’s actions or inaction and your injuries to get compensation.
Hire an Experienced California E-Scooter Accident Lawyer
Following all the e-scooter regulations does not guarantee that accidents won’t happen. However, in the event that they do, hiring a qualified personal injury lawyer can improve your chances of getting the compensation you deserve. After getting medical care for your injuries, contact a California e-scooter accident lawyer at Setareh Law to represent you.
We have many years of experience successfully representing our client’s interests and protecting their rights during litigation. Our Spanish- and English-speaking lawyers are ready to put their years of experience to work for your case. Contact us today by calling (310) 659-1826 or filling out our online form for a free consultation. We will not charge you unless we win your case.