Electric Skateboards

Question

Richard asked: I recently purchased an electric skateboard from BoostedBoards (boostedboards.com). These are electric skateboards designed as commuter boards with electric motors, 20mph speeds, and regenerative brakes. I’m perplexed by where I am legally allowed to ride. I reside in Pinellas County and often use the Pinellas Trail with has signs allowing EPAMDs (FL ST.NO.316.003.83/FL ST.NO>316.2068/ PCO ORD.NO.90-13(D).

Sidewalk, street, Pinellas Trail?

Answer

Sorry, none of the above. Your skateboard may only be used on private property.

The EPAMD to which you refer is most commonly referred to as a Segway.

s. 316.003 – Definitions

(83)Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Device

Any self-balancing, two-nontandem-wheeled device, designed to transport only one person, with an electric propulsion system with average power of 750 watts (1 horsepower), the maximum speed of which, on a paved level surface when powered solely by such a propulsion system while being ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds, is less than 20 miles per hour. Electric personal assistive mobility devices are not vehicles as defined in this section.

The statute that you reference applies specifically to those devices.

s. 316.2068Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Devices; Regulations

(1) An electric personal assistive mobility device, as defined in s. 316.003, may be operated:

(a) On a road or street where the posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour or less.

(b) On a marked bicycle path.

(c) On any street or road where bicycles are permitted.

(d) At an intersection, to cross a road or street even if the road or street has a posted speed limit of more than 25 miles per hour.

(e) On a sidewalk, if the person operating the device yields the right-of-way to pedestrians and gives an audible signal before overtaking and passing a pedestrian.

(2) A valid driver license is not a prerequisite to operating an electric personal assistive mobility device.

(3) Electric personal assistive mobility devices need not be registered and insured in accordance with s. 320.02.

(4) A person who is under the age of 16 years may not operate, ride, or otherwise be propelled on an electric personal assistive mobility device unless the person wears a bicycle helmet that is properly fitted, that is fastened securely upon his or her head by a strap, and that meets the standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI Z Bicycle Helmet Standards), the standards of the Snell Memorial Foundation (1984 Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling), or any other nationally recognized standards for bicycle helmets which are adopted by the department.

(5) A county or municipality may regulate the operation of electric personal assistive mobility devices on any road, street, sidewalk, or bicycle path under its jurisdiction if the governing body of the county or municipality determines that regulation is necessary in the interest of safety.

(6) The Department of Transportation may prohibit the operation of electric personal assistive mobility devices on any road under its jurisdiction if it determines that such a prohibition is necessary in the interest of safety.

Your electric skateboard may not be used in the roadway.

s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations

(11) No person upon roller skates, or riding in or by means of any coaster, toy vehicle, or similar device, may go upon any roadway ….

Further, only registered vehicles may be operated on the roadway unless specifically excluded from the definition of motor vehicle.

s. 320.02Registration Required; Application for Registration; Forms

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, every owner or person in charge of a motor vehicle that is operated or driven on the roads of this state shall register the vehicle in this state.

Your vehicle falls under the definition of motor vehicle in the statute but cannot be registered since it is not one of the specified vehicles accorded that designation.

s. 320.01Definitions, General

As used in the Florida Statutes, except as otherwise provided, the term:

(1)“Motor vehicle” means:

(a)An automobile, motorcycle, truck, trailer, semitrailer, truck tractor and semitrailer combination, or any other vehicle operated on the roads of this state, used to transport persons or property, and propelled by power other than muscular power, but the term does not include traction engines, road rollers, special mobile equipment as defined in s. 316.003(48), vehicles that run only upon a track, bicycles, swamp buggies, or mopeds.

Only vehicles powered by only human power may be used on sidewalks or bike paths unless so stated in the statutes.

s. 316.1995Driving Upon Sidewalk or Bicycle Path

(1) Except as provided in s. 316.008 or s. 316.212(8), a person may not drive any vehicle other than by human power upon a bicycle path, sidewalk, or sidewalk area, except upon a permanent or duly authorized temporary driveway.

(3) This section does not apply to motorized wheelchairs.

Local authorities may regulate skateboard use, however, those regulations may not conflict with other statutes. In this case, local authorities may not allow the use of skateboards on the roads, bike paths or sidewalks since other state statutes prohibit them.

s. 316.008Powers of Local Authorities

(1) The provisions of this chapter shall not be deemed to prevent local authorities, with respect to streets and highways under their jurisdiction and within the reasonable exercise of the police power, from:

(s) Regulating persons upon skates, coasters, and other toy vehicles.

s. 316.212 refers to the operation of golf carts.

9 comments on “Electric Skateboards
  1. damon wood says:

    This post is over a year old. Has anything changed since then? I own an electric skateboard that i built my self and its way more powerful than a Boosted or the other brands that we’re starting to see everywhere. I ride it all the time in my neighborhood, in bike lanes, and on the paved trails and no one has ever said a word. Cops aren’t enforcing these regs and they aren’t explicitly illegal, they just fall in a weird grey area according to this post.

  2. Geo says:

    There has been no change in the applicable laws. Even though it may not be enforced in your area, it is still not legal on the road, sidewalk or bike path.

    • Eric says:

      So i want to order an electronic skateboard and i live in Broward County. am i legally allowed to use it to commute back and forth to work? i would be using sidewalks at low speeds and in some cases just using man power near any school or park. is this or any variation legal? and if not is it okay to buy one and try to use it to the upmost responsibility in order to show how proper civilans can use them right? im only curious i need to get to work a way thats isnt a car and would like to avoid the sweat of it all.

  3. Paul Andersen says:

    Well the electric skateboards are sold in Florida so maybe you should update your regulations. In the meantime I don’t seem to be bothering anyone.

  4. Geo says:

    Paul,

    On this site, we try to present the laws as they exist. i suggest addressing your concerns to someone who can do something about it, your legislators.

  5. Geo says:

    Eric,

    Skateboards powered by anything but human power cannot be legally used anywhere except private property.

    • Bill says:

      I live in Venice fl talk to plenty of local police about and they have no problem with me riding in bike lanes and sidewalks respectively. So I suggest anyone concerned about it should just ask there local police instead of listening to some SJW.

  6. I live in Delray Beach FL. I commute to work everyday on my EBoard. I use a Meepo V2 and it goes about 25mph. I have ridden by many police officers and the only questioning I have received have been about the board. I cruise it up and down A1A on the weekends in the bike lane. State and Local law enforcement both give me a wave.

    Doesn’t make it legal BUT I am also yielding to Pedestrians, Stopping at lights and stop signs. I am following the rules of the road and not being an idiot while on the board.

    Be safe. Be nice. And treat like you would the operation of any other vehicle and you shouldn’t have any issues. PBSO officers that I see frequently at work have also said this same thing. Be smart, be safe, and don’t ride like an ass and you wont have an issue. At least in Palm Beach area.

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