What are Arizona’s Electric Scooter Laws?
Many Arizonans are exploring new alternatives to driving, and electric scooters are growing increasingly popular throughout the state. Arizona recently enacted several laws in regard to these electric scooters, laws for operation, and who may legally operate them. Before purchasing an electric scooter or using an electric scooter sharing program like Lime or Bird, carefully review the state’s requirements for these vehicles to avoid legal penalties and potentially severe injuries.
Electric Bikes and Scooters vs. Mopeds
A self-propelled bicycle, tricycle, or scooter with an engine size of 48cc or smaller and a top speed of 20mph or less would not require a title, registration, or a license to operate. Electric bikes, scooters, or mopeds with a top speed of no more than 25mph and a helper motor 50cc or smaller requires a valid driver’s license, insurance, and registration, but does not require a title.
Any moped rider under the age of 18 must wear a helmet at all times while operating or riding on a moped. Electric scooter riders face no compulsion to wear helmets, but doing so can dramatically reduce the risk of a serious head injury or wrongful death in the event of an accident. Some bike-sharing companies even offer free bike helmets to new members when they sign up for their services.
Despite the fact that some electric bikes and scooters do not require a driver’s license to operate, it is still essential to acknowledge the inherent risks of using these vehicles near larger cars or in areas with heavy traffic. Riders should familiarize themselves with these vehicles before entering potentially dangerous areas and take appropriate safety precautions. These may include wearing an appropriate helmet and avoiding riding at night.
Where Can I Take an Electric Scooter?
Unless your electric scooter qualifies as a moped, you can take it anywhere you could take a bicycle in Arizona – including sidewalks. However, it’s crucial to use caution on busy sidewalks or in bustling city centers with lots of traffic. As bike and scooter-sharing programs like Bird and Lime become more popular, pedestrians and drivers have expressed frustration at the apparent lack of courtesy some electric bike and scooter users display to others.
Never leave a rented bike or scooter in the street or in walking paths. If you use a bike or scooter-sharing app, be sure to carefully read the Terms of Service and instructions for use before your first trip. It’s best to stick to bike lanes wherever possible and use the same caution you would as a pedestrian.
Mopeds with larger engines may travel in bike paths and streets where their top speeds permit travel. For example, a moped with a top speed of 25 mph should not travel on a road with a speed limit of 30 mph or higher. This would interrupt the flow of traffic for others on the road and could easily contribute to a serious accident.
Who Is Liable for an Electric Scooter Accident?
An electric scooter accident may involve the scooter rider, pedestrians, drivers, or several parties. When these incidents lead to severe injuries and other damages, injured parties should know their rights. Arizona follows a comparative negligence law, so it’s possible for a plaintiff in a personal injury case to lose a portion of the case award if he or she is partially liable for the claimed damages.
If a bike or scooter-sharing service failed to provide adequate safety measures or provided a defective bike to a customer, the company may face liability for any resulting injuries. Parents who allow children to ride unsupervised or outside of appropriate areas could face legal action for any damages their children cause. Anyone who experiences an injury from an electric bike accident should contact a Phoenix injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss options for recovery.
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