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E-Scooters in Florida: The Dos and Don’ts

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Next time you’re strolling through downtown St. Pete, check out how many electric scooters there are. Exactly three years ago, Florida governor Ron DeSantos signed a bill that legalized electric scooters here in Florida. As an inexpensive, fun, fast, and environmentally friendly way to whizz about town, t’s easy to see why they’re so popular. 

But not so fast! Did you know that many e-scooters can really move? Most travel at over 15mph, and some go over 30mph! And remember that a scooter rider is lower than a bicycle rider, and therefore harder for drivers to see. Scooters have no turn signals and rain can dampen the grip. This new mode of transport means that many accidents happen with inexperienced riders who don’t anticipate dangerous scenarios.

This summer, if you’re picking out a shiny new e-scooter, or renting one for the day, stop and get to know what using an e-scooter fully entails, and understand the dangers. We blogged last year on our top tips for exercising outdoors safely, and this summer we want you to know the essential e-scooter dos and don’ts when it comes to exploring Florida. 

Dos 

  • Use bicycle lanes or streets which have a 30mph speed limit for your electric scooter. No riding is permitted on sidewalks, beach paths, or private property. Stay in your designated path and be aware of your surroundings. Hey, it’s the law: if you’re caught riding a motorized scooter on a sidewalk, you’ll be issued with a citation, per Florida Statute 316.1995
  • Yield to pedestrians, especially when you ride in busy urban areas. Our motto is simple: ride respectfully
  • Park the e-scooter without blocking sidewalks, bikeways, or paths. Drop the scooter off in designated places.
  • Wear a helmet (we blogged about the importance of a helmet when riding a bicycle, and this is just as important on an e-scooter)

Don’ts

  • Only 1 rider is allowed per scooter – never double ride, especially with children
  • Never drive under the influence or drive recklessly

License to scoot

There’s no insurance requirement for an electric scooter, however, we highly recommend that you carry motor scooter insurance, so that medical bills, property damage, or other damage can be covered. 

E-scooter riders have the same rights and responsibilities as bicyclists, which includes the right to use bicycle lanes, however, local city officials decide the rest of the regulations. As for Tampa, you must be a minimum of 16 years of age to ride an electric scooter, have a valid driving license or permit. Helmets are encouraged but not required. 

Scooter sharing

E-scooter riders in big cities can use a smartphone app to find an empty scooter, scan a code to unlock it, pay a small fee per mile, and then mark the location that they parked the scooter. You can learn more about these apps (Razor / Veo) thanks to this St. Pete Chamber of Commerce article here. 

If the worst should happen, we’re here

Electric scooter injuries are on the rise, and it’s no surprise to learn that injuries from a collision or accident on a scooter can include head injuries, lacerations, broken bones, and bruises. There have been deaths and lawsuits also in relation to e-scooters. 

Have fun and stay safe out there. And if you suffer a personal injury while riding an electric scooter, we can help. At Jenkins Law P.L we are personal injury specialists, and we’ve got the personal service, compassion, and experience to get you and your life back on track.

 

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