Motorized Scooters

Question

Christian asked: Apologies as I have read a few different articles and laws online but I’m still confused. I will be living in Clermont beginning in April and trying to determine if the scooter I’m looking at will be usable in the same manner as a bicycle. 
This particular scooter has no seat, no pedals, runs on electricity and cannot exceed 15 mph. I was hoping to be able to use it along the road shoulder or bike lane, as available. If it helps, the particular scooter is the Ninebot KickScooter by Segway ES2. Link is provided below.
http://www.segway.com/products/consumer-lifestyle/es2-kickscooter
Please advise if this device could be used on the shoulder and in bike lanes.

Answer

The vehicle you describe cannot be used on sidewalks, the roadway or the shoulder of the road.  A bike lane is part of the roadway.

s. 316.2128 – Operation of Motorized Scooters and Miniature Motorcycles; Requirements for Sales

(1) …. motorized scooters or miniature motorcycles …. are not legal to operate on public roads, may not be registered as motor vehicles, and may not be operated on sidewalks ….

Motor vehicles operated on the roadway must be registered with the DMV.

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.

The shoulder is part of the “road” as defined for registration.

s. 320.01Definitions, General

(16) “Road” means the entire width between the boundary lines of every way or place of whatever nature when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular traffic.

Your vehicle is considered a motor vehicle by the statute concerning registration, but does not meet the requirements for a type of vehicle that may be registered.

s. 320.01 – Definitions, 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, personal delivery devices and mobile carriers as defined in s. 316.003, special mobile equipment as defined in s. 316.003, vehicles that run only upon a track, bicycles, swamp buggies, or mopeds.

With a couple of exceptions, only vehicles powered solely by human power may be used on the sidewalk or bike path.

s. 316.1995Driving upon Sidewalk or Bicycle Path

(1) …. 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.

The City of Fort Lauderdale passed a local ordinance allowing certain dockless mobility devices (electric scooters).

https://www.fortlauderdale.gov/home/showdocument?id=31619

Operators must comply with s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations. I could not determine if the ordinance and rules also apply to privately owned scooters or just those owned by the designated rental organizations.

One comment on “Motorized Scooters
  1. Geo describes relevant Florida laws as they currently stand. In the Florida Legislature’s current session, committees have been considering bills that would amend a number of provisions that currently apply to motorized scooters, with the effect of treating them (more or less) as bicycles. In particular, HB 453 (which has a Senate companion bill, SB 542) would redefine “Motorized scooter” as:

    “MOTORIZED SCOOTER.—Any vehicle or micromobility device that is powered by a motor with or without a seat or saddle for the use of the rider, designed to travel on not more than three wheels, and not capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed greater than 20 miles per hour on level ground.”

    As the text currently stands, the bill would add four provisions to s. 316.2128, including:

    “The operator of a micromobility device or motorized scooter has all of the rights and duties applicable to the rider of a bicycle under s. 316.2065, except the duties imposed by s. 316.2065(2), (3)(b), and (3)(c), which by their nature do not apply.”

    Bill text is available at https://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=63331&

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