You’ve bought your favorite electric scooter that you’ve been waiting for for a long time and are geared up to go for a ride. Your scooter’s battery is fully charged, and adrenaline surges in your body, but wait. Can you ride an electric scooter on a sidewalk?
Most beginners choose sidewalks as there is no traffic there, and it’s easier to drive. However, many regions in the world have strict laws that do not allow electric scooters on sidewalks. Is your country amongst them? Stick to the article to get the answer.
Are electric scooters allowed on sidewalks in the USA?
Different laws exist for different states in the United States, and hence some states approve of the use of electric scooters, whereas some are strictly against it.
States that do not allow the use of scooters on sidewalks
Although allowed to ride on streets, riders here are not allowed to ride their scooters on sidewalks. Riders are required to stay in the bike lane wherever possible. Moreover, riders only with a driver’s license are allowed to operate electric scooters.
The state of Missouri, too, just like Kansas, requires the riders to stay away from sidewalks and ride their scooters in bike lanes wherever possible.
3. New Hampshire
Riders here must strictly adhere to the rules. They require users to stay off the sidewalks and from any public property or place in the state.
These laws are pretty much the same for other states that do not allow riders to ride on sidewalks, namely North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin.
States that allow the use of scooters on sidewalks
Only a few states allow the electric scooters to be operated on sidewalks, two of which are Louisiana and North Carolina.
1. North Carolina
Riders are only allowed to ride on sidewalks if it is part of the street. In that case, a further requirement is that the vehicle is registered.
Are electric scooters legal on sidewalks in Europe?
Like the states in the US, every country has different laws, with some countries like Germany and Norway allowing the scooters to operate on the sidewalks. In contrast, countries like France and Belgium prohibit it.
1. the UK
The short answer here is no. When the trial about shared scooters began, it was clearly outlined that scooters were not allowed to ride on the sidewalks. This is most likely to be carried into the future, and the scooters won’t be allowed to ride on sidewalks.
Germany, just like Norway, allows the scooters to be ridden on the sidewalks. The speed limit for the electric scooters is 20km/h on bike lanes for riders aged 14 and above. Riders aged 12 and above can ride in lanes, bike paths, and sidewalks but with a speed limit of 12km/h.
France doesn’t allow electric scooters to ride on sidewalks, but riders can use streets and cycling paths.
Can you ride an electric scooter on a sidewalk in Singapore?
The answer is no. Forget about sidewalks; electric scooters have been banned here in Singapore, whether on roads, streets, or sidewalks. The only place you can ride your electric scooter is in bicycle lanes.
The main reason for this ban was the accidents that continued to increase on roads and sidewalks. One such accident resulted in a casualty as well. Moreover, Singapore did try to control this increase in accidents.
Still, it remained unsuccessful as it couldn’t stop the drivers from their reckless driving behavior and crossing the speed limit.
Why are electric scooters not allowed on sidewalks?
Let’s get to the real question of “why aren’t electric scooters allowed on sidewalks”? Riders may find it convenient and safer to ride on sidewalks, but that’s not the case.
Authorities claim that riding on sidewalks might seem safer to riders, but it puts at risk the safety and wellbeing of the pedestrians:
- Pedestrians often trip over electric scooters that have been parked over sidewalks, thereby causing injury and difficulty.
- There are many cases where accidents occurred due to a collision between the electric scooter and pedestrians.
- The elderly and those with disability are more vulnerable to being hit by a scooter.
Whether your region allows you to ride on sidewalks or not, it is your responsibility to ride safely. You must have all the protective gear on to ensure your safety. Your focus and concentration must be on driving at all times while riding.
Getting distracted by using a mobile phone or listening to music can have detrimental consequences and must be avoided. Reckless riding behavior is a big no, and the speed limit must not be exceeded as it risks your and the safety of others around you.
The thrill can be costly, over speeding for a moment of thrill can have irreversible consequences. You might also be fined if caught while exceeding the speed limit.
I hope all the above discussion helps answer your question. Always look at the laws in place in your country before going out on a ride, as you might get a ticket if you do not abide by these laws.
While riding, always know that great responsibility for you and the safety of others rests on your shoulders, and you must drive safely and act as a responsible member of the community.