What are the California laws regarding motorized scooters on public road ways?

These law codes are taken off of California Highway Patrol Website. Many states are following suit. Please check with your local law enforcement for information regarding motorized scooters in your region.

For help finding your local law enforcement on the Internet, visit this link and choose your state then choose government regarding motorized scooters.

For help finding your local law enforcement through the phone, refer to a local phone book and call your local law (non-emergency) enforcement regarding motorized scooters.

 

regulations regarding Electric Scooters

Q: "Are small, portable electric scooters allowed on BART just like bicycles?"

A: "Yes, small portable electric scooters are allowed on BART just like bicycles. In fact scooters must follow the same rules as bicycles. If your scooter is foldable it will be allowed on the train at anytime as long as it remains folded. If it does not fold refer to the "All About BART" brochure for the time restrictions that is applicable to bicyclists. Thank you for riding BART." Bart Customer Services www.bart.gov


CALIFORNIA CODES
VEHICLE CODE
SECTION 21220-21235


21220. (a) The Legislature finds and declares both of the
following:
(1) This state has severe traffic congestion and air pollution
problems, particularly in its cities, and finding ways to reduce
these problems is of paramount importance.
(2) Motorized scooters that meet the definition of Section 407.5
produce no emissions and, therefore, do not contribute to increased
air pollution or increase traffic congestion.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature in adding this article to
promote the use of alternative low-emission or no-emission
transportation.

21220.5. For the purposes of this article, a motorized scooter is
defined in Section 407.5.

21221. Every person operating a motorized scooter upon a highway
has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to
the driver of a vehicle by this division, including, but not limited
to, provisions concerning driving under the influence of alcoholic
beverages or drugs, and by Division 10 (commencing with Section
20000), Division 17 (commencing with Section 40000.1), and Division
18 (commencing with Section 42000), except those provisions which, by
their very nature, can have no application.

21221.5. Notwithstanding Section 21221, it is unlawful for any
person to operate a motorized scooter upon a highway while under the
influence of an alcoholic beverage or any drug, or under the combined
influence of an alcoholic beverage and any drug. Any person
arrested for a violation of this section may request to have a
chemical test made of the person's blood or breath for the purpose of
determining the alcoholic or drug content of that person's blood
pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 23612, and, if so requested,
the arresting officer shall have the test performed. A conviction of
a violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more
than two hundred fifty dollars ($250).

21223. (a) Every motorized scooter operated upon any highway during
darkness shall be equipped with the following:
(1) Except as provided in subdivision (b), a lamp emitting a white
light which, while the motorized scooter is in motion, illuminates
the highway in front of the operator and is visible from a distance
of 300 feet in front and from the sides of the motorized scooter.
(2) Except as provided in subdivision (c), a red reflector on the
rear that is visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear when
directly in front of lawful upper beams of headlamps on a motor
vehicle.
(3) A white or yellow reflector on each side visible from the
front and rear of the motorized scooter from a distance of 200 feet.

(b) A lamp or lamp combination, emitting a white light, attached
to the operator and visible from a distance of 300 feet in front and
from the sides of the motorized scooter, may be used in lieu of the
lamp required by paragraph (1) of subdivision (a).
(c) A red reflector, or reflectorized material meeting the
requirements of Section 25500, attached to the operator and visible
from a distance of 500 feet to the rear when directly in front of
lawful upper beams of headlamps on a motor vehicle, may be used in
lieu of the reflector required by paragraph (2) of subdivision (a).

21224. (a) A person operating a motorized scooter is not subject to
the provisions of this code relating to financial responsibility,
registration, and license plate requirements, and, for those
purposes, a motorized scooter is not a motor vehicle.
(b) A motorized scooter is exempt from the equipment requirements
in Division 12 (commencing with Section 24000), except for Sections
24003 and 27400, Article 4 (commencing with Section 27450) of Chapter
5 of Division 12, and Section 27602.
(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), any motorized scooter may be
equipped with equipment authorized by Division 12 (commencing with
Section 24000).
(d) Any motorized scooter equipped with lighting equipment that is
authorized by Division 12 (commencing with Section 24000) shall meet
the lighting requirements in Article 1 (commencing with Section
24250) of Chapter 2 of Division 12 for that equipment.

21225. This article does not prevent local authorities, by
ordinance, from regulating the registration of motorized scooters and
the parking and operation of motorized scooters on pedestrian or
bicycle facilities, if the regulation is not in conflict with this
code.

21227. (a) A motorized scooter shall comply with one of the
following:
(1) Operate in a manner so that the electric motor is disengaged
or ceases to function when the brakes are applied.
(2) Operate in a manner so that the motor is engaged through a
switch or mechanism that, when released, will cause the electric
motor to disengage or cease to function.
(b) It is unlawful for a person to operate a motorized scooter
that does not meet one of the requirements of subdivision (a).


21228. (a) Any person operating a motorized scooter upon a highway
at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same
direction at that time shall ride as close as practicable to the
right-hand curb or right edge of the roadway, except under the
following situations:
(1) When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the
same direction.
(2) When preparing for a left turn, the operator shall stop and
dismount as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or right edge
of the roadway and complete the turn by crossing the roadway on
foot, subject to the restrictions placed on pedestrians in Chapter 5
(commencing with Section 21950).
(3) (A) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions, including,
but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles,
pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes,
which make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or right
edge of the roadway, subject to Section 21656.
(B) For the purposes of subparagraph (A), a "substandard width
lane" is a lane that is too narrow for a motorized scooter and
another vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.
(4) Any person operating a motorized scooter upon a highway that
carries traffic in one direction only and has two or more marked
traffic lanes may operate the motorized scooter as near the left-hand
curb or left edge of that roadway as practicable.
However, when preparing for a right turn, the operator shall stop
and dismount as close as practicable to the left-hand curb or left
edge of the highway and complete the turn by crossing the roadway on
foot, subject to the restrictions placed on pedestrians in Chapter 5
(commencing with Section 21950).


21229. (a) Whenever a class II bicycle lane has been established on
a roadway, any person operating a motorized scooter upon the roadway
shall ride within the bicycle lane, except that the person may move
out of the lane under any of the following situations:
(1) When overtaking and passing another vehicle or pedestrian
within the lane or when about to enter the lane if the overtaking and
passing cannot be done safely within the lane.
(2) When preparing for a left turn, the operator shall stop and
dismount as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or right edge
of the roadway and complete the turn by crossing the roadway on
foot, subject to the restrictions placed on pedestrians in Chapter 5
(commencing with Section 21950).
(3) When reasonably necessary to leave the bicycle lane to avoid
debris or other hazardous conditions.
(4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.
(b) No person operating a motorized scooter shall leave a bicycle
lane until the movement can be made with reasonable safety and then
only after giving an appropriate signal in the manner provided in
Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 22100) in the event that any
vehicle may be affected by the movement.

21230. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a motorized
scooter may be operated on a bicycle path or trail or bikeway, unless
the local authority or the governing body of a local agency having
jurisdiction over that path, trail, or bikeway prohibits that
operation by ordinance.

21235. The operator of a motorized scooter shall not do any of the
following:
(a) Operate a motorized scooter unless it is equipped with a brake
that will enable the operator to make a braked wheel skid on dry,
level, clean pavement.
(b) Operate a motorized scooter on a highway with a speed limit in
excess of 25 miles per hour unless the motorized scooter is operated
within a class II bicycle lane.
(c) Operate a motorized scooter without wearing a properly fitted
and fastened bicycle helmet that meets the standards described in
Section 21212.
(d) Operate a motorized scooter when the operator is under the age
of 16 years.
(e) Operate a motorized scooter with any passengers in addition to
the operator.
(f) Operate a motorized scooter carrying any package, bundle, or
article that prevents the operator from keeping at least one hand
upon the handlebars.
(g) Operate a motorized scooter upon a sidewalk, except as may be
necessary to enter or leave adjacent property.
(h) Operate a motorized scooter on the highway with the handlebars
raised so that the operator must elevate his or her hands above the
level of his or her shoulders in order to grasp the normal steering
grip area.
(i) Leave a motorized scooter lying on its side on any sidewalk,
or park a motorized scooter on a sidewalk in any other position, so
that there is not an adequate path for pedestrian traffic.
(j) Attach the motorized scooter or himself or herself while on
the roadway, by any means, to any other vehicle on the roadway.

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 


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