Almost every electric skateboarder has electric skateboard legal problems after receiving the toy and before riding it, are electric skateboards legal? Or can I ride an electric skateboard on the sidewalk? Can I ride an electric skateboard on the road? What are electric skateboard laws? Where can I ride my electric skateboard? Are electric skateboards allowed on planes, etc?
After all, electric skateboards are different from ordinary skateboards. But at the same time, they are inseparable from other electric transportation tools. Essentially, as an emerging product, electric skateboards are outside of the existing rules and regulations. Figuring out the rules is not only to our benefit but also to those who don’t know about this product but come across it.
According to Wikipedia, electric skateboards belong to personal transporter, being a class of compact vehicles for transporting an individual at speeds that do not normally exceed 16 mph. And what makes things funny is that wiki indicates, “They (personal transporters) are growing in popularity, and legislators are in the process of determining how these devices should be classified, regulated and accommodated during a period of rapid innovation.” So, in the United States, the answer to the questions in the first paragraph is obvious, which is it depends. Well, let’s don’t beat around the bush.
Frankly, no federal laws are regulating the use of electric skateboards, but it does not mean skateboards are allowed. Different states have particular rules towards this new toy, or even if there are no exact regulations of electric skateboards, some similar laws might apply to electric skateboards.
Are Electric Skateboards Legal in California
According to AB-604, the legal document about electrically motorized boards, which was released on October 11, 2015, regulating the operation of electric personal assistive mobility devices, electric skateboards included. Of all sections about “electrically motorized skateboards”, in short as the following:
- Whenever you ride e skateboard, you must wear a helmet.
- People who ride electric skateboards must be at least sixteen years old.
- You must be sober when ridding, under the condition of drugs or alcohol is prohibited.
- The speed must be under 35 mph when riding on the road.
- Riding on highways is forbidden.
- The Power of your board shall be an average of 1000 watts or less.
- You cannot ride on public property at more than 15 mph.
- In the darkness, equip your board with a front white headlight, yellow reflectors on the side, and equip riders with a red reflector on the rear.
And if your electric skateboard does not fit all of these requirements or you do not follow these requirements, your behavior is considered to be illegal. We have the link to the AB-604 file, if you want to know more about this, please check the paper.
Are Electric Skateboards Legal in Florida
Typically, no laws are regulating the use of electric skateboards in Florida. So, in a way, you can ride your device as long as you do not infringe on others’ property. And at the same time, there is a law about all EPAMD (electric personal assistive mobility devices), presenting these devices can be used:
- On the roads or streets where the posted speed limit is 25mph or less.
- On the marked bicycle paths.
- Streets and roads where bicycles are permitted.
- At an intersection, to cross a road or street even if the road or street has a posted speed limit of more than 25 miles per hour.
- On a sidewalk, if the person operating the device yields the right-of-way to pedestrians and gives an audible signal before overtaking and passing a pedestrian.
Electric Skateboard Laws in Michigan
In practice, the regulation of electric skateboards in Michigan is referred to as the law of electric scooters. As to specific questions, you may feel a little weird since the rules in Michigan are kind of different from the former two states.
- As for wearing a helmet, it says, “only a scooter or electric skateboard operator who is under 19 years of age must wear a crash helmet on his or her herd” (MCL 257.658(4))
- Kids under 12 cannot ride an electric scooter or electric skateboard on a public highway or street. (MCL 257.658(9)).
- When riding on the sidewalk, you must “yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian” and you must “give an audible signal before overtaking and passing the pedestrian.”
- An electric skateboard cannot be driven at more than 25 mph.
- If you’re going to drive your electric skateboard on the road “between 1/2 hour after sunset and 1/2 hour before sunrise,” then you must have a white-light, front lamp that is “visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front” and a rear, red reflector or a rear, red-light lamp “visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear may be used in addition to the red reflector.”
Are Electric Skateboard Legal in New York
New York City (NYC) has always been a heated location concerning this topic because it is New York.
- According to the newest law, people are allowed to operate bicycles with the electric assist on some streets and highways in New York State.
- You can operate these devices on highways with a posted speed limit of 30 MPH or less
- You cannot operate these devices on a sidewalk except as authorized by local law or ordinance.
Electric Skateboard Laws in Texas
It is difficult to find an official paper on electric skateboard regulations in Texas. But generally, officials put electric skateboards into the same category as motorized bicycles.
Firstly, you must follow traffic laws, including stopping at red lights and stop signs, riding on the right side of the road, ‘the right of way’, stopping for pedestrians at crosswalks, following the speed limit.
However, since Texas is a large state, laws, and regulations might be different in different cities and areas, which means you’d better call the local police to figure out.
Electric Skateboard Laws in Colorado
Before HB19-1221 became the law, the “toy vehicles” could only be operated on sidewalks.
Now, electric scooters should be used on roadways, regulated and riders should face the same consequences for traffic violations as anyone else using the road on a bicycle or electric bicycle. Electric skateboards that go under 20 mph are under the definition of bicycles. And these boards have the same limitations as bicycles and undergo the same treatment.
Electric Skateboard Laws in Virginia
Under the code of Virginia, Title 46.2. Motor Vehicles, Subtitle Ⅲ. The operation, Chapter 8. Regulation of Traffic, Article 12. Bicycles, laws towards electric skateboard are listed as follows:
- A person riding on the road shall yield the rule of “right-of-way” to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing any pedestrian.
- No person shall ride an electric skateboard on a sidewalk, or across a roadway on a crosswalk.
- No person shall park in a manner that impedes the normal movement of pedestrian or other traffic or where such parking is forbidden by official traffic control devices.
- A person ridding shall have all the rights and duties of a pedestrian under the same circumstances.
Electric Skateboard Laws in Seattle
According to the Seattle government website (which might also apply to Washington), electric skateboards would fall under the category of EPAMD in Seattle, which is Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Devices. To sum up the laws in Seattle on electric skateboards:
- You can ride your devices on roadways, shoulders, sidewalks, and alleys, but not on bike lanes or public paths.
- People are only allowed to ride on the sidewalk where there is a high-density area.
- You cannot ride on a road where the speed limit is greater than 35 miles per hour.
Electric Skateboard Laws in Illinois
What we find on Reddit says, Ordinance 9-80-200 says you can’t use skateboards on roadways or sidewalks in business districts. The way bike lanes are set up in the city, it would be difficult to use a skateboard for transportation and comply with the ordinance.
Then we searched the Ordinance 9-80-200, the chapter elaborating the use of “toy vehicles”, from the American Legal Publishing Corporation website, which shall be useful for you.
Electric Skateboard Laws in Hawaii
- It is not legal to skateboard on public roadways in Honolulu.
- When crossing, follow the rule of “the right of way”.
- The devices may be used only on public streets with two lanes or less and a speed limit of 25 mph or less.
Electric Skateboard Laws in Massachusetts
We find the paper of the city of Springfield, MA (Massachusetts), in the Article of Motorized scooters, indicating:
- No person shall operate a motorized scooter, motorized skateboard, or other similar motorized vehicles on any City-owned or controlled public way, sidewalk, park, playground, recreational area…without permission.
Electric Skateboard Laws in Oregon
Some players have questions like, can I ride an electric skateboard in Portland. Then I searched Portland Government and got the rules in the following:
- No person shall ride a motorized vehicle including skateboard on any brickwork, cobblestone or ornamental surface, picnic table, tennis court, fountain area, planter, or sculpture located in a Park.
- No person shall operate an EMD (electric mobility device) in a park in an unsafe manner or at a speed over 15 mph. And in the area where pedestrians appear, the speed shall not exceed 5 mph.
For Those Aspects Not Mentioned
- First, onewheel laws-related questions. With electric skateboards being a headache for many local departments, there is a new emerging device, which is known as onewheel electric skateboard. You can scan some relative questions and answers on this forum. Hopefully, this will help you solve your problem.
- And then we find some players raise questions about legal problems in UK and Canada or even Germany. According to my research, people are forbidden to ride an electric skateboard & motorized skateboard on the sidewalk or road in England, Scotland and Wales. They are only allowed to ride on private land.
As to those states not presenting apparent rules and regulations towards electric skateboards, where rules are not obvious, device operators shall at least follow the common sense of the motorized bicycles.
Legal Disclaimer: I am not a professional lawyer, and this article is not to be good as legal advice. Please use common sense, and always check your local laws and ordinances to ensure you comply or call the officials if necessary. Neither Lumbuy nor its authors are liable for incomplete or incorrect information.
- “Personal Transporter” from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_transporter
- AB-604, California laws about e-skating: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB604
- Section 2068 Electric personal assistive mobility devices; regulations, 2011 Florida Statutes: https://www.flsenate.gov/laws/statutes/2011/316.2068
- Regulations on mopeds in Michigan: https://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1627_8669_53329-212754–,00.html
- Electric scooters and bicycles and other unregistered vehicles, New York State: https://dmv.ny.gov/registration/electric-scooters-and-bicycles-and-other-unregistered-vehicles
- HB19-1221 Regulation of electric scooters, Colorado: https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb19-1221
- Chapter 311 Skateboards and scooters, City of Springfield, MA: https://ecode360.com/14666496