What Are the Current Regulations in Gainesville, FL, For E-Scooters?
Bill Allen | August 29, 2023 | Scooter Accidents
They are becoming an ever-increasing sight in Florida, especially in college towns like Gainesville. Electric scooters, or e-scooters, are a cheap and easy way for students and others to navigate Gainesville streets without some of the issues that accompany traditional motor vehicles like cars and trucks.
Like any other vehicle, e-scooters are governed by laws and regulations that riders must comply with to operate their e-scooters legally. Riders are presumed to know these regulations, and failing to follow them can lead to a rider being ticketed for violating the law.
The Laws Gainesville E-Scooter Riders Need To Know
In Gainesville, e-scooters are treated the same as bicycles. This means that the state and local laws that apply to bicycle riders will also be enforced against e-scooters and their riders. In addition, there are Gainesville scooter laws that local riders must comply with while riding around town, even if such rules do not apply in other jurisdictions.
The laws e-scooter riders need to know include the following:
No Driver’s License Is Required By State Law
If you want to own and ride an e-scooter, Florida requires you to be at least 16. You do not need to have a driver’s license. However, some e-scooter rental companies, like Lime, have more stringent requirements.
You may ask, “Do you need a license to drive a Lime scooter?” The answer is yes. In fact, for individuals who use Lime, driver’s licenses are required, and the individual must be over 18.
No Helmet Is Necessary
Along with not requiring e-scooter riders to have a driver’s license, Florida does not require them to wear a helmet. However, just as bicyclists should wear a helmet to reduce the chance of a severe head injury, so should e-scooter riders. If they are involved in an accident, they can sustain serious injuries like traumatic brain injuries.
While wearing a helmet may not be legally required, riders of e-scooters are highly encouraged to wear a helmet to protect themselves.
Local E-Scooter Laws in Gainesville
Gainesville has adopted other local ordinances that apply to e-scooters. Riders must comply with these as they would any other law.
These include the following rules:
E-scooters cannot exceed 15 miles per hour on the street
Scooters cannot be parked in vehicle parking spots, bike lanes, business entryways, or driveways
Riders cannot park their e-scooters in a way that prevents others from using streets and sidewalks
Rental scooter services are available only between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Gainesville scooter laws can change more quickly than state laws. Therefore, riders in Gainesville should regularly consult local news or the local city code for the most up-to-date information on how to legally use an e-scooter in Gainesville.
The Risks and Rewards of Using E-Scooters in Gainesville, Florida
Electric scooters have only been widely available for a few years, but already there are benefits and drawbacks to their use. As a micro-mobility option, they represent an opportunity for individuals to get around town more efficiently without putting more full-size motor vehicles on the road. Additionally, they are a transportation option for those who cannot get a driver’s license.
However, e-scooters come with drawbacks. Many of the dangers that bicyclists face are also faced by e-scooter riders, including the risk of serious injuries. Time will tell if these risks are outweighed by the benefits of e-scooters.
If you were injured in a scooter accident, contact a Gainesville personal injury attorney for assistance. An attorney can evaluate what happened and help you identify your legal options for compensation for your damages.
Contact Our Gainesville Personal Injury Law Firm in North Central Florida
We have three convenient locations in North Central Florida: