Electric scooters have zipped into major cities across the United States over the last several years, and the District of Columbia is no exception. When electric scooters were first introduced into the District of Columbia in 2017, they came as part of a pilot program.
This program was extended several times before the District Department of Transportation opened up their electric bike and scooter permit applications for 2019. These applications require electric bike and scooter companies to comply with several Washington D.C. scooter laws.
Most cities, including Washington D.C., were unprepared for the arrival of electric scooters and bicycles. As such, there weren’t rules and regulations in place to govern how these new modes of transportation would work on D.C. roads. Transportation officials struggled to establish rules and regulations, such as where riders were allowed to ride legally, how fast they were allowed to ride, and how many scooters would be allowed in the city.
Washington D.C. Scooter Laws
If you’re looking to jump on an electric scooter in Washington D.C., you can take your pick of several, including Jump, Bird, Lyft, Lime, Skip, and Spin. These scooters offer a cheap and fun way to get around town. Jump scooters, for example, are free to unlock and just $0.15 a minute to ride.
While scooter laws in the District are still shifting, they have always revolved around safety. If you want to try out an electric scooter in Washington D.C., it is important to abide by the city’s regulations on personal mobility devices, such as electric scooters. If you’re thinking of riding a scooter in Washington D.C., here are some rules, regulations, and recommendations to ensure the safest possible experience for you and everyone around you.
- Scooter riders may not ride on the sidewalks in the city’s central business district
- Scooter riders may ride on sidewalks outside of the central business district
- Scooter riders should not ride on crowded sidewalks whenever possible
- Scooter riders may ride in all designated bike lanes
- Scooter riders are not required to wear helmets
- Scooter riders are not required to carry insurance
- Scooter riders are not required to have a license
- All scooter riders must be over the age of 16 to operate an electric scooter
- Scooter companies must adhere to scooter fleet caps
- The speed limit for riding an electric scooter is 10 mph
- Scooter riders must obey all rules of the road and traffic signals
- Riders are encouraged to use both hands when riding
- Scooters may only park on sidewalks with a permit
- Only one person allowed on a scooter at a time
In addition to these rules and regulations, safety experts and scooter companies encourage all scooter riders to wear helmets while riding. If you don’t have a helmet, Bird and Skip will even mail helmets to users who request them. Also, scooter riders should avoid wearing headphones or air pods while riding so that they can pay attention to their surroundings at all times.
Scooter Advocates Not Thrilled with D.C. Scooter Laws
Bird, a popular electric scooter company, has said that D.C.’s rules and regulations make it virtually impossible for providers to serve the D.C. community effectively. Their main problem is the vehicle cap, which many advocates hoped would be eliminated this year.
Currently, the 2019 cap allows for scooter companies to bring a maximum of 600 electric bikes and 600 scooters each. Permits also allow for dockless vehicle operators to grow their fleets by up to 25% each quarter, following DDOT evaluations.
According to advocates, capping vehicles ensures that only high-density areas receive service and not the poorer or historically underserved areas of town. However, these are the areas that would benefit the most from electric scooters.
Contact Our Experienced Washington D.C. Scooter Accident Lawyers
After a scooter accident in Washington D.C., you may have sustained serious injuries. These injuries can result in a lifetime of pain and suffering, as well as permanent disability. When this occurs, you need an experienced personal injury law firm on your side with the experience and resources needed to tackle these complex cases.
At Patrick Malone & Associates, our Washington D.C. scooter accident attorneys know that you need money to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. To learn more about your legal rights after a scooter accident, contact our law firm by calling (202) 742-1500 or by filling out our confidential contact form.
We offer a free initial consultation for all injured accident victims and can help you choose the legal path that is best for you. Call today!