SANTA MONICA, CA – The City of Santa Monica has seen an increase in the use of motorized scooters, so the Santa Monica Police Department would like everyone to know the laws governing the use of them. A motorized scooter is defined as a two-wheeled device with handlebars and a floorboard designed to be stood upon when riding and is powered by an electric motor, according to the California Vehicle Code (CVC) section 407.5.
The use of such scooters requires that the rider have a Class C License and a bicycle helmet, according to SMPD.
Here’s a list of vehicle code sections that pertain to Motorized Scooters:
- 21212(a) CVC – Bicycle Helmet required
- 21221.5 CVC – Driving under the Influence, no person shall operate a motorized scooter upon a highway while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or drug
- 21223(a)-(c) CVC – Every motorized scooter operated upon any highway during darkness shall be equipped with the following: a white light emitting from the scooter which illuminates the high way in front and from the sides of the operator for up to 300 feet. A red reflector on the rear that is visible from a distance of up to 500 feet to the rear. A white or yellow reflector on each side visible from the front and rear of the motorized scooter from a distance of 200 feet. A lamp or lamp combination, emitting a white light, attached to the operator and visible from the distance of 300 feet in front and from the sides of the motorized scooter.
- 21228(a)(b) CVC–RIGHT CURB/ROADWAY EDGE, failure to operate as close as possible to right curb/roadway edge and walk scooter across street when turning left.
- 21229(a)(b) – WITHIN BICYCLE LANE, any person operating a motorized scooter upon the roadway shall ride within an established bicycle lane.
- 21235 CVC – The operator of a motorized scooter shall not do any of the following:
- (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 without a valid driver’s license or instruction permit.
- (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/herself while on the roadway, by any means, to any other vehicle on the roadway.
Anyone looking for additional information is encouraged to contacted SMPD’s Traffic Division at (310) 458-8466.
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