Electric scooters have become very popular in recent years. They are fun, convenient, portable, and accessible. However, the features of electric scooters can make them pretty risky for the rider and other people.
As such, laws have been introduced all around the US to regulate the use of electric scooters. Michigan is one of the states that address electric scooter use.
Electric Scooter Requirements
Public Act 204 in 2018 sought to revise the Michigan Vehicle Code to include “electric skateboards.” Michigan law defines an electric skateboard as a “means a wheeled device that has a floorboard designed to be stood upon when riding that is no more than 60 inches long and 18 inches wide, is designed to transport only 1 person at a time”.
Essentially, what Michigan law defines as an electric skateboard is an electric scooter. Some of the requirements that Michigan imposes on electric scooters are the following:
- Front lamps are a must for electric scooters operating after sunset and before sunrise. The lamps must have a white light visible for at least 500 feet.
- Rear reflectors are also necessary for scooters operating during the same times mentioned above. These reflectors must be aligned to the level of the front lights of cars. These should also reflect light visible for at least 100 to 500 feet.
- Controlled stop systems are necessary for electric scooter units.
Any violations and offenses regarding requirements and operation of electric scooters count as civil infractions.
What are the Basic Michigan Laws You Need to Know about Electric Scooters?
Owning an electric scooter in Michigan comes with many responsibilities. Here are some of the related laws:
- MCL 257.33 – An electric scooter is not a vehicle, but the rider must be responsible as well.
An electric scooter does not classify as a vehicle. The owner, however, must treat the electric scooter as such. Doing so can help reduce risks.
- MCL 257.658 (3) – No multiple passengers
Only one person can ride an electric scooter at a time.
- MCL 257.658 (4 and 9) – Age limits
Children under the age of 12 are not allowed to operate an electric scooter on the street. They may do so, however, in the safety of their backyards and other places. Those in the age range of 12 to 19 must wear a crash helmet while riding.
- MCL 257.660(10) – Speed limits
The highest speed you can operate your electric scooter is 25 mph. If the street has a speed limit of 25 mph, your electric scooter isn’t allowed. An exception to this rule is when you are attempting to cross the highway or street with your scooter.
What are the Roadway and Sidewalk Operation Laws about Electric Scooters?
Responsible driving is compulsory for all electric scooter owners. Here are the roadway and sidewalk laws related to electric scooters:
- MCL 257.660 (1) – Ride on the right, and ride responsibly
If you are operating an electric scooter on a highway or street, ride on the right lanes. It not possible, ride as close as you can on the right. Exercise caution when other vehicles approach for everyone’s safety.
- MCL 257.660 (2) – No electric scooters side by side
Make sure that you do not ride with another scooter next to you if on a roadway. The exception to this rule is if you are riding in an electric scooter-designated pathway.
- MCL 257.660 (4) – Passing through traffic
Electric scooters are not allowed to pass through traffic lanes. That can only be possible if the following conditions are fulfilled:
- In a two-way street, the scooter may pass to the left of cars moving in the same direction.
- In a one-way street, the scooter may pass to the left or the right.
- MCL 257.660 (5) – Sidewalk laws
Electric scooters can be used on sidewalks. However, the right of way is always with pedestrians. The rider is also responsible for signaling when turning or when passing and overtaking pedestrians.
Do You Need Legal Help on an Incident Involving an Electric Scooter?
Are you facing legal troubles because of electric scooter use? Michigan is quite strict with its electric scooter laws. If you need help legally, make sure to contact the Lansing vehicle accident attorneys at The Clark Law Office. We have experienced professionals who are used to dealing with road-related legal concerns. Call us at +1 (517) 347-6900.
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