Electric scooters, or e-scooters, have become a popular mode of transportation in Florida cities. While they are convenient and relatively inexpensive to use, there are a host of safety issues associated with e-scooters. E-scooters can travel up to 20 miles per hour and can result in significant injuries if they are not used correctly. Most riders of e-scooters are not wearing helmets, so the resulting injuries can be especially serious.
Florida Laws Regarding E-scooters
E-scooters were legalized in Florida on June 18, 2019, by the enactment of HB 453. The bill authorized counties and cities to regulate e-scooters. The law provides that e-scooter riders have all of the rights and responsibilities of a bicycle rider. It also states that riders of e-scooters are not required to have a driver’s license. The law also allows users in cities to utilize bike lanes when traveling. Most importantly, the law leaves it to local authorities to decide how to regulate e-scooters.
Cities across the state have taken different approaches to how they regulate e-scooters. In Miami, there are currently nine companies that operate e-scooters. The scooters are only allowed in certain areas of the city. Riders are expected to obey all traffic laws. Additional requirements in Miami regarding e-scooters include:
- Users must be 18 years of age or older and must have a driver’s license, state identification, or passport that they can present as proof of their age.
- Users are not required to use a helmet, but helmet use is strongly encouraged.
- Only one person may ride a scooter at a time
- E-scooters cannot exceed 15 miles per hour on streets and in bike lanes and 7 miles per hour on sidewalks
In Tampa, the regulations are similar, except riders have to be at least 16 years of age. Tampa also has a 15 mile per hour speed limit for e-scooters. In addition, scooters are only allowed on some sidewalks in the city. This is similar to the rule in Orlando regarding riding on sidewalks. In Orlando, the speed limit is 20 miles per hour.
There are no clear overarching regulations in Florida regarding scooters. Rulemaking is left to the individual cities that participate in scooter programs. This can lead to confusion and a lack of uniformity. E-scooters have only been legal in Florida for less than a year, so it seems likely that we may see further regulations down the road.
Contact an Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured in an e-scooter accident, you should schedule a free consultation with an experienced accident attorney. Gregg Goldfarb has been helping accident victims for over 20 years. Contact us online or call us at 305-374-7000 to schedule a free consultation.