The latest excitement gripping people all over the world involves the micro-mobility industry. It is also considered among the fastest-growing industries in the world. The excitement surrounding this industry involves some of its promising features that include the revolutionization of the transport industry and the protection of the environment by greatly reducing carbon emissions.
The electric or motorized scooter in particular is this industry’s greatest and latest innovation. Currently, there is a high likelihood that people visiting cities around the world in North America, Europe and others will probably spot several people riding the electric scooter. However, you might ask what are electric scooters?
The e-scooter has it is commonly known is quickly developing into a much convenient commuting choice especially for city dwellers. It is two-wheeled and powered by an electric motor. It also has a place for its owner to stand while riding. Ideally, it serves users for short commutes since it is operated by a chargeable battery. It is both comfortable and easy to use. Users of some models can enjoy high speeds and range which enables them to move faster. However, the electric scooter’s design and use have created safety concerns among road users and regulators.
In this article, I have attempted to offer lovers of electric scooters in countries such as Canada, Australia, the U.K, and the USA information about some of the regulations revolving around this emerging industry. After reading this article you will have gained information about; the legality of electric scooters in the countries; what makes them illegal in some countries or cities; places where you can ride them; and whether licenses are required in the mentioned countries.
Can I ride Electric Scooters in the USA?
For people worrying about this, the answer lies in your location. Different American states and cities have different regulations and laws regarding electric scooters. E-scooters are currently common in the country. There public rental service companies such as Spin, Lime, and Bird which offer scooters to clients. However, such services are approved by certain cities’ authorities and lacking in others.
In the absence of federal laws that regulate this new industry, various state and cities have created their laws. In the U.S, electric scooters do not appear in the Consumer Product Act which dictates standards of safety in the whole country. Despite this, some states have been fast in noticing the importance of e-scooters as a better form of transport. These states have created legislative police that will enable you to know where and how to use them.
The state of California helped people. globally to familiarize themselves with the potential of electric scooters. The state’s authorities, in 2019, approved and provided laws for their use. E-scooters were limited to speeds below 15mph on all bicycle lanes and public roads. Riders are also supposed to keep off sidewalks and stick to slow streets with speed limits of 25mph. If you are a rider below the age of 18, the state requires that you put on your helmets. The state of New York was among those which were late to legalize electric scooters in 2020. This move helps to dictate the future of major cities.
However, before this, New York City was popular for both the banning and unregulated e-scooter industry. The state laws require riders to be at a minimum of 16 years old. For riders below the age of 18, helmets are necessary. If you are in the state, you should probably keep off the streets and sidewalks with speed limits above 30mph. These laws also allow for individual municipalities and cities to amend them. In New York City, five private companies were allowed to run rental services. Also, in the city, you are not supposed to ride at speeds above 20mph.
Are Electric Scooters Legal In the U.K?
Sadly, electric scooter lovers in the United Kingdom have to wait a while longer for them to be used publicly. This situation is despite the environmental advantages that can be obtained by legalizing them. The regulators and authorities in the country should also aim to catch up with other European countries such as France which have accommodated e-scooters into their public services. Electric scooters cannot be legally used on public roads or pavements. This illegality is due to complicated laws such as those that classify them as Personal Light Electric Vehicles (PLEVs) that deem them unfit for public use.
However, the popularity of e-scooters both in Europe and globally is likely to push regulators to review the laws. This fact is exciting for enthusiasts in the country as it provides the possibility of removing the current high penalties for breaking the laws. There are also contradicting laws that classify electric scooters as vehicles. This law subjects them to comply with laws that regulate vehicles too. However, their design causes implications while complying with these laws. Moreover, electric scooter lovers in the U.K are allowed to use them within private properties. This is not that exciting but if you can acquire permission from people with unused spaces, you can still enjoy yourselves.
What Are the Current Laws Regarding E-Scooters in Australia?
It is necessary to begin by stating that there do not exist laws that prevent people from purchasing electric scooters in any Australian state. Like in several other major cities, the popular use and convenience of these micro mobile vehicles are evident in the country. If you are an e-scooter from the country, you are probably not alone. The affordability and excitement surrounding them have pulled in new and loyal users. People who use them in the country are not required to possess a driver’s license in any state. In Queensland for instance, electric scooters are legally allowed to be used in public spaces such as footpaths and roads. However, users are prohibited from using them in bicycle lanes.
They are also required to wear helmets. However, for users below the age of 12, this law is not enforced. Adult supervision is also required for riders below the age of 16. The provincial authorities also expect electric scooter users to pave way for pedestrians in public areas. For New South Wales, the use of e-scooters in public footpaths and roads is not allowed but accepted for private property use. In the province of Victoria and ACT, you are allowed to use electric scooters in public areas. Authorities in ACT agree that these services are necessary as the country shift towards green alternative energy. The maximum speed limit in footpaths is set at 15km/hr and users are required to put on helmets, as well as paving way for the pedestrians.
Can I Ride Electric Scooters In Canada?
The convenience provided by electric scooters has quickly led most people from Canada to make their daily commutes using them. However, different regions and provinces have laws to regulate their use. The country’s Motor Vehicle Safety Act states that these devices are allowed on roads provided that they do not exceed speed limits of 32km/hr. In almost every region, you are allowed to use them within private property. However, their usage is not allowed in bicycle lanes or sidewalks.
The British Columbia Province denies riders from using public roads and sidewalks but does not restrict their use in private space. The renting of scooters is however allowed in most regions whereas possessing the necessary gears is a requirement. The use of helmets by riders is a complete must. If you are planning on riding a scooter in the country, you must be 18 years old and have a scooter company or renter train you on how to ride. Many places in Canada also require speed limits not to exceed 32km/hr. Issues regarding license requirements differ from place to place. However, most of them require riders to have valid licenses.