5 Things To Know Before You Ride an Electric Scooter

August 22, 2018 5:30 PM
by Constance Farrell

Electric scooters have captured everyone’s attention in Santa Monica and across the nation. With numerous companies flooding the region with dockless scooters at a quick pace, many people are unfamiliar with important rules of the road. That’s why the City of Santa Monica partnered with current operators Bird and Lime to launch a public safety campaign focused on how to ride e-scooters safely and legally. 

With any disruption, there are growing pains. The City of Santa Monica is committed to being a multi-modal city and a place where we eliminate pedestrian fatalities. Through the upcoming e-scooter Shared Mobility Pilot Program, we will learn more about how to optimize performance and safety of dockless e-bikes and e-scooters in Santa Monica.

For now, we want to make sure the public is ready to ride. Here are five things you need to know before you go!

Ride on the street! Not the beach bike path, promenade, parks or sidewalk.

Someone could get seriously injured if you hit them on the sidewalk. There’s no getting around it. Electric scooters go up to 20 miles per hour and are required to be on the street and with the flow of traffic. They are also NOT allowed on the Third Street Promenade or beach bike path in Santa Monica. You can get a ticket if you are seen riding an e-scooter on either or in parks, including Palisades Park. For now, enjoy riding an e-scooter in one of the many bike lanes found throughout Santa Monica.

Electric scooters aren't for kids.

You must have a valid license or permit to operate one. Don’t lose your driving privileges! While you can ride Breeze Bike Share without a license, you do need one to ride an e-scooter per the California Vehicle Code. A valid driver’s permit is also acceptable.

Park respectfully!

You wouldn’t want someone to park their car on your front lawn, so please be mindful of where and how you park your e-scooter. There are new drop zones in Downtown Santa Monica with more coming to neighborhoods. If you can’t find one, make sure to park your e-scooter upright and to the edge of the curb so you don’t block someone’s access. Think about wheelchair users and citizens who need a clear path. If you see a knocked over e-scooter, please do your share and pick it up.

Wear a helmet!

Yes, it is required and it can save your life. Don’t have a helmet? Consider visiting one of Santa Monica’s many amazing bike stores. Trust us, you can find something that suits your style.

 No tandem riding.

It’s against the law to have two riders on one scooter. Sure, it looks fun, but they aren’t built for it and it increases your chances of getting in an accident. Keep your buddy safe by having them rent their own scooter. And be sure you both have helmets!

Help us spread the word about e-scooter safety by sharing this blog post. Thanks for your help keeping Santa Monica a safe place to scooter.

Authored By

Constance Farrell
Communications & Public Information Manager