Motorized Scooter

Question

Lauren asked: I’ve been doing a lot of research on this topic. I recently rode a Lyft scooter in San Antonio and it would save me so much money and time and as a future law school student I need every penny I can get. 
Yesterday I posted a response to one of the posts regarding bikes vs scooters. Still curious on the response to that (but I think I know why it can’t be considered a bike). Looking for you to confirm. But more importantly see the last part. 
“Question in regards to the motorized bicycle… I have read the posts where it has been determined that the Segway ninebot is not considered legal on the street or sidewalk since it is not self balancing. My question is why would this not be considered a motorized bicycle? In order to start this Segway the individual must kick the ground in order to start propelling the vessel (hence human power) and in theory if someone really wanted a workout they could keep kicking. However once they have started kicking then you use the little buttons to propel you forward (electric power). Additionally these have brakes over the back wheel therefore it could also be stopped by human power or via the brake button which is electric power. I am living in an area where this would be wonderful and about to go to law school and would consider selling my car to save money in law school.
Side question: if city statues can’t override state statutes and this specific scooter is this exact ones in Miami and they are “illegal” in FL then how is Miami able to circumvent the law?”
MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION: Being that I THINK the conclusion to the above is that the Segway can’t be considered a bike is because I believe the bike section excludes scooters from being considered a bike. I started looking for scooters that had 3 wheels (so it would qualify for the non-tandem requirement for the scooter). I came across this item called a Cycleboard. See the link below. I am hopeful that this would in someway qualify for some sort of either street or sidewalk approved vessel either under the bike or the approved scooter. Can you confirm?  https://cycleboard.com/collections/boards

Answer

Your vehicle is not a bicycle.

s. 316.003 – Definitions

(4) Bicycle – Every vehicle propelled solely by human power, and every motorized bicycle propelled by a combination of human power and an electric helper motor capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed of not more than 20 miles per hour on level ground upon which any person may ride, having two tandem wheels, and including any device generally recognized as a bicycle though equipped with two front or two rear wheels. The term does not include such a vehicle with a seat height of no more than 25 inches from the ground when the seat is adjusted to its highest position or a scooter or similar device.

With regard to your Miami question, local authorities can enact certain ordinances as long as they do not conflict with state statutes.  For example,

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:

(h) Regulating the operation of bicycles.

(7)(a) A county or municipality may enact an ordinance to permit, control, or regulate the operation of vehicles, golf carts, mopeds, motorized scooters, and electric personal assistive mobility devices on sidewalks or sidewalk areas when such use is permissible under federal law. The ordinance must restrict such vehicles or devices to a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour in such areas.

Your vehicle may be a micromobility device or motorized scooter.  A new law was passed recently to permit their use under certain circumstances.  This site is to discuss the laws related to bicycling.  Hence, I will not try to determine if your vehicle meets the statutes.  Instead, I will provide the applicable statutes so you can make your own determination.

s. 316.2128Micromobility Devices, Motorized Scooters, and Miniature Motorcycles; Requirements

(1) The operator of a motorized scooter or micromobility device 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 (Bicycle Regulations) (2), (3)(b), and (3)(c), which by their nature do not apply. However, this section may not be construed to prevent a local government, through the exercise of its powers under s. 316.008, from adopting an ordinance governing the operation of micromobility devices and motorized scooters on streets, highways, sidewalks, and sidewalk areas under the local government’s jurisdiction.

(2) A motorized scooter or micromobility device is not required to satisfy the registration and insurance requirements of s. 320.02 or the licensing requirements of s. 316.605.

(3) A person is not required to have a driver license to operate a motorized scooter or micromobility device.

(4) A person who offers motorized scooters or micromobility devices for hire is responsible for securing all such devices located in any area of the state where an active tropical storm or hurricane warning has been issued by the National Weather Service.

(5) A person who engages in the business of, serves in the capacity of, or acts as a commercial seller of miniature motorcycles in this state must prominently display at his or her place of business a notice that such vehicles are not legal to operate on public roads, may not be registered as motor vehicles, and may not be operated on sidewalks unless authorized by an ordinance enacted pursuant to s. 316.008(7)(a) or s. 316.212(8). The required notice must also appear in all forms of advertising offering miniature motorcycles for sale. The notice and a copy of this section must also be provided to a consumer prior to the consumer’s purchasing or becoming obligated to purchase a miniature motorcycle.

s. 316.003- Definitions

(38) Micromobility Device – Any motorized transportation device made available for private use by reservation through an online application, website, or software for point-to-point trips and which is not capable of traveling at a speed greater than 20 miles per hour on level ground. This term includes motorized scooters and bicycles as defined in this chapter.

(45) 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, which is designed to travel on not more than three wheels, and which is not capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed greater than 20 miles per hour on level ground.

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