are electric scooters legal on sidewalks

Are Electric Scooters Legal on Sidewalks? 

Although Electric scooters have been common in the market for about 28 years ago. Since 1996, these vehicles have flooded different cities around the globe, and the number is increasing each day. A single e-scooter rental company, Bird, is the market leader, operating a huge number of scooters worth about $ 2 billion in dozens of cities. Unfortunately, despite an impressive boost, our laws haven’t kept pace. Most countries and states haven’t set any rules and regulations about these rides yet, leading to a number of questions like “Are electric scooters legal on sidewalks? ”

It’s a fairly straightforward question that must have a straightforward answer. But unfortunately, we can’t give a direct “Yes” or “No” answer, as it entirely depends on electric scooter laws by state and countries you’re riding in. Here, we’ll take a closer look at the e-scooter sidewalk riding laws in Canada and different states of America. So let’s get started!

Electric Scooter’s Sidewalk Riding Laws in the USA

There are only 5 states in the USA where there’s no restriction on riding e-scooters on sidewalks; these are:

  • Arizona
  • Lowa
  • Louisiana
  • Rhode Island
  • Virginia

Most states have declared it illegal to ride privately owned e-scooters on roads and sidewalks. 19 states haven’t mentioned any e-scooter sidewalk riding rule. However, some major states have clear laws on the subject, which are discussed below.

Can You Ride Electric Scooters on the Sidewalk in California?

California Vehicle Codes govern the regulation of e-scooters in California. The California Vehicle Code (CVC) section 21230 states that it’s illegal to ride e-scooters on sidewalks in California; however, users can ride on bikeways, bike lanes, and trials with a speed limit under 25 MPH. 

According to CVC section 21235, riding a motorized scooter on the sidewalk is prohibited outside of a single limited exception. This exception legally permits riding on sidewalks only when you’re leaving or entering an “adjacent property.” CVC section 21235 (i) states that parking an e-scooter on sidewalks is unlawful as it can impede pedestrian traffic. In addition, the scooter should not be left on its side on the sidewalk.

CVC section 21230 also says that the local government has the right to override these laws. So, it’s better to double-check local laws before riding.

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Are Electric Scooters Legal on Sidewalks in Texas?

When we talk about Texas vehicle riding laws, driving on the sidewalk is legal. There are no separate rules and regulations about e-scooter riding, and it follows the general vehicle laws. However, riding on sidewalks is considered dangerous as it can result in a collision between the vehicle and the pedestrian, resulting in severe injuries. Keeping in mind the expected loss, the government of Texas has prepared a Senate Bill 549 to ban these rides from sidewalks, but it hasn’t passed till now.

Riding on roads with bike lanes is preferable rather than sidewalks. In Texas, driving an electric scooter on roads is legally allowed by maintaining a speed limit below 35MPH only if your scooter’s motor doesn’t exceed 900W. The municipalities in your area have the right to impose their laws on the subject, So do your research before riding!

Are Electric Scooters Legal on Sidewalks in Colorado?

According to Colorado laws, it’s unlawful to ride E-scooters on sidewalks. About 4 years back, riding e-scooters on sidewalks was legal in Colorado as these were considered toys, thus prohibited from riding with general traffic or bike lanes. However, in a new ruling HB19-1221 in a regulation session in 2019, these were excluded from a set of “toy Vehicles” and accepting e-scooters the regular vehicles that can drive on bikeways and streets but not on sidewalks.

This law also restricts the street riding of e-scooters and permits you to maintain a speed limit of 30MPH or less. If you don’t have any other option besides a sidewalk, then make sure that the speed limit doesn’t exceed 6MPH. 

Is an E-Scooter Legal on Sidewalks in Georgia?

According to Georgia vehicle laws, driving e-scooters on sidewalks is unlawful. You can ride only in LIT Lanes (Bike lanes) at a maximum speed of 35MPH. Using a mobile phone is prohibited while riding. And if you’re younger than 16, you must have a helmet on while making an e-scooter ride in Georgia.

Are Electric Scooters Legal on SideWalks in Washington?

In Washington, DC (formally the District of Columbia), riding an e-scooter on a sidewalk is forbidden when a LIT lane is available. However, riders are allowed to drive e-scooters on sidewalks that are under the control of the  National Park Service. With such a mish-mash of rules regarding e-scooter riding, you should consult with your local police or municipalities before making a ride.

Are electric scooters legal in Florida?

According to Florida law, it’s illegal to ride an e-scooter on sidewalks or Bike lanes unless powered solely by human power. If authorities find you guilty, they have the right to take action against you as per Florida Statute 316.1995. However, you can ride on roads with a maximum speed of 15MPH only if you’re age is 16 years or above.

Can You Ride an Electric Scooter on the Sidewalk in Canada?

E-scooters are classified as low-power vehicles in Canada, thus allowing them to move on streets and sidewalks. The riding of e-scooters on sidewalks can result in an accident, causing pedestrians to undergo serious injuries. It’s a situation the Canadian authorities don’t want to accept. There’s no blanket rule about e-scooters, and it’s up to the state or local municipalities to make a decision about e-scooter riders. On highways, however, e-scooters are prohibited.

General Electric Scooters Laws

With a variety of laws for each state, it’s your responsibility to follow all. However, some general laws about electric scooters are consistent from state to state. These general rules are:

  • You can ride an e-scooter on public roads only when you’re 16 or above. Similarly, you must wear a helmet for protection in case of an accident.
  • You need a proper driver’s license if you’re operating a 50cc scooter with a speed of 30 MPH or higher. Similarly, a full-sized e-scooter can travel up to 65MPH on roads.
  • When riding on roads, try to maintain a speed below 25 MPH, as a speed above this limit can result in accidents and severe injuries.
  • While riding on roads, take proper care of electric and hand signals. It’s actually for your and other motorists’ safety, Always mount taillights and turn signals on your electric ride.

Also Read: Do you need insurance for an electric scooter?

Are Electric Scooters Safer on Sidewalks or Streets?

Electric scooters are lightweight vehicles and can travel at high speeds. This high speed can result in accidents on sidewalks. According to a study by the Insurance Institute of Highway Studies, 3 out of 5 accidents on sidewalks resulted due to electric scooters, which resulted in rider injuries. So, it’s a straightforward fact that riding e-scooters on streets is much safer compared to sidewalks. That’s the reason most countries have prohibited e-scooter riding on sidewalks, as discussed above.


Are electric scooters street-legal in Iowa?

Lowa allows electric scooters to be driven on sidewalks, public roads, streets, and bike paths provided these weigh less than 100 lbs and have a maximum speed limit of 20mph.

Do you need a license to drive an electric scooter in Tennessee?

Tennessee electric scooter laws require drivers to have a valid license and to be at least 18 years old to drive an e-scooter.

Can electric scooters be used in public?

The only electric scooters allowed to ride on public roads are those rented as government trials. In contrast, private e-scooters may only be used on private property.

Is it legal to ride an electric scooter in Florida?

yes! You must need a license to ride an electric scooter in Florida.

Final Thoughts

We’ve put ourselves out to provide you with the answer to your query- “are electric scooters legal on sidewalks?” All the states and countries have their own rules and regulations and always try to adhere to your local laws to prevent any trouble during a ride. All these laws are subject to change, so be careful about the most up-to-date rules.

Always be safe and have fun while riding!

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