- August 6, 2018
With over 800,000 motorcycles registered in California, it’s hard to quantify how many there are when you factor in scooters, mopeds, and electric bikes. Pretty much anything on wheels could be dangerous to you or pedestrians if you’re not careful. If you’re asking, “do scooters need insurance in San Francisco”, you might be surprised to find out how complicated the answer is.
San Francisco scooter accident attorneys discuss three important points:
There’s a Difference Between Mopeds and Scooters
In California, there’s a legal distinction drawn between mopeds and scooters. While scooters are typically defined by having two wheels and handlebars, they also usually are defined by having a floorboard to stand on. If your scooter has a seat and no floorboard, it’s probably considered a moped.
Mopeds are in a different category; They usually have two or three wheels and an electric motor. They may have pedals and they are usually considered to not be capable of being driven faster than 30 mph.
Knowing whether you’re sitting on a moped or standing on a scooter plays a part in safety and legal regulations, according to scooter accident attorneys in the Bay Area.
Any License Will Do
Although you don’t need a specific license, you’ll need some form of a driver’s license to legally drive a scooter in San Francisco. Just because it’s not a car doesn’t mean your little brother can take it for a spin, so be careful with who drives your vehicle!
With this license, you need to be sure that you’re obeying traffic laws and watching out for pedestrians, just as you would in a car.
Safety is a Legal Matter
If you want to ride a scooter, you don’t need to have any kind of insurance. However, if your scooter is actually a moped, you need to have liability insurance to ride it on California roads, according to our San Francisco scooter accident lawyers.
Whether it’s a moped or a scooter, you can’t ride it on sidewalks. For the safety of pedestrians, even if you’re moving at a slow speed, you’re not allowed on the same path as pedestrians.
If you’re riding a scooter, you can’t go over 25 mph and you need to be wearing a helmet. The U.S. Department of Transportation outlines what makes a helmet compliant and non-compliant. Your helmet needs to meet these regulations.
While it might seem like a lot of oversight, you should always take safety seriously when you’re dealing with a motorized vehicle no matter your speed or the time of day.
Do You Need Insurance for a Moped or Scooter in California?
You aren’t required to carry insurance to operate a motorized scooter in California—this coverage is entirely optional.
It’s important to note that laws can change at any point, so be sure that you’re tuned in to what any changes are by contacting the local DMV.
Before you hit the streets, check out our guide to understand the pitfalls of being a motorbike rider on the road.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bike, scooter, or moped accident, contact the San Francisco scooter accident injury attorneys at The Barnes Firm for a FREE consultation!