If you’re in the market to buy electric scooters online or purchase a shiny, brand new electric scooter from your local store, you might have to consider the legality of riding such a vehicle on public roads. After all, it doesn’t help much to own a high performance, $2,000 scooter if it’s not legal to ride it in your area.
Depending on where you live, the laws for riding electric scooters can differ greatly. In some places, like Wyoming, there are no laws whatsoever for the use of electric scooters. In others, such as the state of Florida, the speed limit for a conventional scooter is kept in the vicinity of 20-25 mph, and anyone under the age of 16 needs to wear a helmet while riding theirs. We recommend a durable Bikes-Scooters-Skateboards Helmet.
The Logic Behind the Law
The idea behind any traffic law is to keep people safe. If the speed limit were too high, drivers and riders could make a lot of mistakes that would be very costly – not just in terms of money, but also in injuries and lives taken.
When it comes to electric scooters, restrictions generally apply to speed limits, which are kept within 20-30 mph at most. Additional restrictions can also apply to wearing safety gear, riding scooters only when you’re older than a certain age, avoiding sidewalks or obtaining a DMV registration.
Of course, as a seasoned rider you might already know how to stay safe, and you might be wearing the latest head gear or a quality pair of anti-slip cycling gloves for bikes and scooters. However, even so you will have to comply with the regulations assigned to your local area, as the alternative could be a pretty big fine, or even worse.
Research Specific Local Laws
Although the general laws regarding electric scooters seem to apply to just about any scooter you can buy from an electric scooter online store, there may be details that only apply to specific states or areas. So if you own a high powered Quickwheel Explorer scooter in Hawaii, the law might view you differently than if you had that same scooter in California or Florida.
For instance, Arizona has a law that places any scooter that’s powered by 750W or lower in the same category as basic electric or electric-assisted bikes – which means you can use them on sidewalks and bicycle lanes. However, these scooters can not be operated on public roads and highways as a high powered electric scooter could. It’s simply against the law to do so.
Look Up the Qualities and Performance of Your New Scooter
Before buying an electric scooter make sure it not only complies with what you need it to do, but that it also complies with local laws and regulations. If your state only allows scooters more powerful than 750W on public roads, make sure the scooter you buy has a motor of at least 750W. In this case, a lower power model like the Zimo K1 electric scooter would not be allowed alongside larger scooters.
As you can see, many intricate details can go into the legal concerns of owning and operating an electric scooter. If you want to make sure that you won’t be breaking any laws, choose to only buy e scooter online that will comply with local restrictions and can still provide you with something close to the level of performance that you were initially looking for.