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E-Scooter Laws In Riverside


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In recent years, California has experienced rapid growth when it comes to electric scooter and bike use. This is most likely due to the perceived notion that e-scooters and e-bikes are not only beneficial to a rider’s physical health, but to the environment as well. 

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  • Riverside governments urge electric scooter riders to engage in safer practices as an 87-year-older rider was struck by a train and died moments after. 
The Popularity of UCR Electric Scooters 

Bird reported an initial wave of 90,000 rides within a 3 month period at the University of California, Riverside. However, there was then a significant decline in electric scooter usage. According to a 2019 report, Irma Henderson, the University of California Riverside’s director of Transportation and Parking Services, “It was a slow drop-off after the fall.”

Nowadays, most Riverside e-scooters and e-bikes are privately owned and operated. In fact, e-scooter usage has been restricted on UCR’s sidewalks and pathways. Electric scooters have become so unpopular that a recorded 500 abandoned scooters were removed from campus due to non-usage. 

The University of California, Riverside has taken the initiative of employing regulations that ensure both public safety and environmental friendliness. These regulations dictate: 

  • An electronic boundary that alerts riders if they travel through restricted zones 
  • Campus planners and officials that will enforce these regulations 
  • A permit and fee program that restricts the number of e-scooter companies and devices that are allowed to operate not only on campus, but in Riverside in general 
  • A maximum speed limit 
  • The removal of broken, abandoned or inadequately parked devices         
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  • Riverside expects electric scooter riders to follow the rules of the road and maintain a valid driver’s license 
  • California ordinances regulate electric scooter regulations by city  
Electric Scooter Safety Tips

The introduction and popularity of electric scooters has encouraged modifications to current laws. For example, regardless of age, previous California state law required all riders of electric scooters to wear a standardized helmet. However, according to spokespeople from major electric scooter companies such as Uber, Lyft and Bird, a helmet prerequisite is damaging to their businesses. Electric scooter regulations are currently under scrutiny.  However, regardless of the law, there are safety tips that most can agree upon: 

  • Wear a helmet. It is always a good idea to wear a helmet, regardless of age or local laws. Helmets have been proven to not only reduce injury, but save lives in case of an accident.
  • Retain a Valid Driver’s License. California law requires that electric scooter riders must possess a driver’s license. It is expected that electric scooter riders have current and working knowledge of road rules.
  • Maximum Speed Limit. Most city requirements prohibit e-scooter riders from exceeding speeds greater than 15 mph.
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  • Maximum electric scooter speeds must not exceed 15 MPH
  • California law prohibits e-scooter riders from having passengers
  • Operators of electric scooters must be at least 16 years of age    
Electric Scooter Accidents

Safety has been a major point of contention with regard to electric scooter regulation. Push back from major companies such as Uber, Lyft and Bird, have altered the law when it comes to helmet requirements and restricted riding zones. However, regardless of the strictness and severity of regulations, accidents still happen.

Unfortunately, there is not enough recorded information that details electric scooter injury in California. However, Portland’s Bureau of Transportation recorded the e-scooter injury rate to be 2.2 accidents per 10,000 miles. 

However, Paul Steely, Bird’s Director of Safety Policy and Advocacy addressed safety concerns with this statement: “The reporting of shared e-scooter injury data lacks important context necessary to appreciate the issue of transportation safety -- the number of injuries reported this far would amount to less than a fraction of one percent of the total number of e-scooter rides taken worldwide. Driving is much deadlier for everyone, as evidenced by the 6,000 pedestrians killed on U.S roads in 2017. Worldwide, car crashes kill more that one million people each year. And for every person car kills on impact many more lives will be cut short in due part to their devastating impact on our climate.”    

Common Electric Scooter Injury Causes  

As with any mode of transportation, there is a certain level of risk that is involved. Injuries due to e-scooter accidents can be caused by: 

Traffic Collisions. Like with other vehicles, electric scooters are more subject to danger when they make a left-hand turn or cross an intersection.  

Pedestrian Collisions. Overcrowded streets often cause electric scooter riders to get distracted and may result in an accident. 

Uneven Pavement or Other Road Hazards. Incorrect signage, road obstructions, and cracked pavement all pose dangers to electric scooter riders. 

Increased Speeds and Other Traffic Law Violations. Scooter riders are required by law to follow traffic regulations including yield/stop signs and hand signals.

Scooter Malfunction. The mishandling of e-scooters has led to damaged parts and malfunction. Broken pieces such as breaks and locks and lead to a severe e-scooter accident.      

West Coast Trial Lawyers Can Help Solve Your Electric Scooter Accident Case 

If you have sustained injuries in Riverside from a scooter accident, a personal injury attorney at West Coast Trial Lawyers can help you recover financial compensation for your losses. Recoverable damages include medical bills, property damage, lost wages, loss of consortium, emotional distress and pain and suffering. We have offices all across California areas including Glendale, Bakersfield, Irvine, Beverly Hills, Long Beach, Riverside, Pasadena, San Bernardino, Woodland Hills, and Solana Beach.

Call West Coast Trial Lawyers today at (951) 393-1299 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.

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