Regulations on E-scooters
With today’s younger generations, climate change and sustainability has become a hot button issue. A charge led by the millennials and generation Z, they want to encourage greener practices and to alter the slippery slope of increasingly negative effects that result from climate change before it’s too late.
One innovation that’s becoming more popular with the masses is the usage of e-bikes and e-scooters. Being solar powered, you’ll never have to worry about it running out of energy as the solar panel is built into it. The concept is that you open the corresponding app, open a map to show available e-scooters in your area, pay a small fine to unlock it and you have a greener way to travel at your disposal.
But unfortunately its greatest benefit is also its greatest caveat. E-scooters are faster than regular bike while being slower than a motorcycle. Motorists have already managed maintaining a rocky relationship with those on regular bikes so that relationship becomes even more precarious with the integration of e-scooters which are even less easy to track in one’s peripheral vision while keeping an eye on the road. All it takes is one hairpin turn by either person to cause a collision and with the technology still being newly integrated into society, the laws and guidelines regarding e-scooters are still murky and a tad difficult to interpret.
While there’s no federal mandate regarding e-scooters, nearly every state has its own guidelines regarding e-scooters, as an attorney, like a Personal Injury Attorney at Patterson Bray, can attest. Each of these guidelines are seemingly tailored to the infrastructure in the state’s most populous cities as well as the landscape and their ability to accommodate e-scooters with the least amount of risk to motorists and other pedestrians.
For instance in the state of Nevada, the mandate is that one needs to be 16 years of age or older and that you can only ride them on a sidewalk. An interesting detail considering that slower bikes are allowed on the street. Meanwhile, in Oregon, the usage of e-scooters on sidewalks is prohibited and can only be used in the street. These guidelines can be expected considering that sidewalks in Nevada are larger, wider, and better kept up by local city governments compared to Oregon’s. Also, Oregon has invested more state finances into the development of bike paths and multiuse lanes compared to Nevada.
There are some states like New Mexico that increases the age limit to 18 and others like Rhode Island where you need a driver’s license just to use one even though the mechanics of using one is immensely different than that of a car. On the opposite hand, in Hawaii, e-scooters are treated in the same manner as bicycles and in New York, e-scooters aren’t legal for anyone to use altogether.
No matter where you happen to be traveling, make sure you keep up with the regulations and guidelines regarding e-scooters. Though federal laws are still murky, what guidelines that do exist were put up for the safety and well-being of everyone.