Electric scooters and electric bikes have been the source of many debates. Lawmakers are still trying to determine the best steps forward to keep pedestrians and commuters safe. You may be wondering if your scooter is legal or how fast you can ride. What’s the verdict?
Laws and regulations around electric scooters vary around the world. Most US states allow electric scooters to travel 10-20mph. Some locations allow electric scooters to travel above this range. Check your local regulations before heading out on your scooter, and especially before using the road.
Although the laws can be confusing, they’re essential to follow to avoid accidents or legal consequences. Here’s what you need to know about electric scooter speed limits in your area.
The laws and regulations around electric scooters are hazy, to say the least. These guidelines became foggy when shared scooters came onto the scene in 2017. Electric scooters are an efficient, affordable, and low-carbon-producing method of transportation.
However, these vehicles have started complaints, debates, and other issues for commuters.
This backlash has caused lawmakers across the United States and the world to determine the best steps forward. Although there is still progress to be made, the rules and regulations surrounding eclectic scooters have become more apparent.
Sidewalks are typically thought to be off-limits for electric scooters and shared scooters. However, riding electric scooters on sidewalks is only banned in 10 states. Here are the ten states that have restricted electric scooters from sidewalks:
- New York
- North Dakota
Places Where Streets Are Illegal
In almost all cases, electric scooters are not permitted on high-speed streets with speed limits above 35 mph. However, only two states have entirely banned electric scooters on the streets. Here are the two states where you can’t ride on the roads:
The maximum speed limit is typically the most common enforced restriction for electric scooters. The most common speed restriction is 20 mph, which is more than enough for an electric scooter. Here are the states where you can only ride at 10-20 miles per hour:
- DC (10mph)
- New Jersey (19mph)
There are other states where you can ride above 10-20 miles per hour. Some of these locations allow for 25 mph, while others allow up to 30 mph. Here are the states where you can ride above 10-20 miles per hour:
- Florida (30mph)
- Michigan (25mph)
- Missouri (30mph)
- New York
- Oregon (25mph)
Currently, there is only one state that requires DMV registrations for electric scooters. North Carolina is the only state that has these restrictions in place.
A few states have employed driver’s license requirements for electric scooters. These laws are in place to help ease some of the chaos from scooters. Here are the states that require a driver’s license in order to operate an electric scooter:
- Illinois (under 17)
- North Carolina
Many states have added minimum age requirements for electric scooters. Typically, you have to be above 16 to ride an electric scooter. A helmet will be required in some of these states as well. Here are the states with minimum age requirements for electric scooters:
- Michigan (12+)
- Minnesota (12+)
- Utah (15+)
- Virginia (14+)
Many states require helmets to ride an electric scooter. Some of these laws are based on age as well. Here are the states that have helmet requirements for electric scooters:
- Connecticut (under 16)
- Delaware (under 16)
- Louisiana (under 17)
- Michigan (under 19)
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
You may be wondering why there are speed limit enforcements on electric scooters and how fast they can go. The average speed of an electric scooter is around 15-20mph. Some models can reach speeds upwards of 30 miles per hour.
Electric scooter speed limits vary across the United States and the world. We have already provided you with some of the restrictions in America. Here are some speed limit restrictions across the globe.
Australia: Electric scooter speed limits vary across Australia. However, the range is often from 10kmh to 25kmh, depending on the state.
Belgium: You can ride electric scooters at 25kmh in Belgium. They are street legal, and helmets are not mandatory.
Canada: Electric scooter speed limits will differ by the province in Canada. However, the speed limitations in Ontario are 24kmh and 32kmh in Quebec.
Denmark: You can ride electric scooters in bike lanes at a top speed of 20kmh in Denmark.
Finland: Electric scooters follow the same rules as bicycles in Finland. You can ride electric scooters at a top speed of 25kmh.
France: Electric scooters are legal on the street if they cannot travel faster than 25kmh. You can ride on bike paths and streets where the speed restriction is below 50kmh. Helmets are mandatory for riders under 12. You do not need a license, registration, or insurance to ride an electric scooter in France.
Germany: You can ride electric scooters on the streets of Germany. However, you cannot travel faster than 20kmh. There are also motor restrictions. Scooters may or may not have insurance and license requirements. You must be at least 14 years old to ride an electric scooter in Germany.
Italy: Electric scooters are road legal in Italy. You can ride at 25kmh but only at 6kmh in civilian commuter areas. The minimum age requirement is 14. Helmets are mandatory for riders 18 and under.
New Zealand: New Zealand allows electric scooters on their roads. However, the motor cannot be stronger than 300 watts. Wearing a helmet may be required. You do not need a license, registration, or insurance to ride an electric scooter in New Zealand.
Norway: Electric scooters are treated almost exactly like bicycles in Norway. You don’t need a license or registration. There are no speed or age requirements to ride an electric scooter in Norway.
Philippines: The Philippines allow electric scooters on their streets. They require a license and registration. However, less powerful motors are only permitted on private properties.
Poland: You can only travel at 25kmh in Poland. You must be at least ten years old to ride an electric scooter.
Russia: You can only ride electric scooters below 25kmh in Russia with motors smaller than 250 Watts. You don’t need a license to ride an electric scooter, and they are road legal.
Spain: Spain doesn’t have many electric scooter restrictions. However, you can only ride at 25kmh.
Sweden: Sweden uses the same rules for electric scooters as they do for cyclists. However, they cannot travel faster than 20kmh or be over 250 Watts. Helmets are mandatory for riders under 15.
United Kingdom: You can not travel faster than 25kmh on an electric scooter in the United Kingdom.
Riding an electric scooter is generally a safe form of transportation. Here are some extra tips you can use to have a safer commute.
Although wearing a helmet isn’t mandatory in some areas, it is sure to keep you safe during accidents. In fact, helmets can reduce the risk of death by 37% and injury by 69%. Be sure to find a comfortable helmet that isn’t too tight or restricting.
Riding to your favorite song can be enticing and a thrilling experience. However, ditching your headphones may help you stay more alert while you commute through city traffic.
You should do a safety inspection before you head out for the day. Doing a safety inspection before a ride allows you to catch any inconsistencies before it’s too late.
Check your tires for any damage or puncture holes. Make sure they’re properly inflated as well. Look at the wires and connections. Ensure there’s no loose-ends or frayed cables.
Follow All Traffic Laws
Follow all the traffic laws in your area. The laws are in place to keep you safe and to help you avoid injury or accidents. Don’t speed or ride in unpermitted lanes. Look for passengers to avoid injuries and accidents. Be sure to look up the regulations in your local area before heading out for a ride.