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Is riding a scooter on a sidewalk illegal?

If you're walking on a sidewalk and suddenly have to jump out of the way to avoid someone on a scooter, you know the dangers that they pose. Interestingly, mopeds, motor bikes and even scooters without power are banned from sidewalks in California. Why? In cases where a pedestrian can't get out of the way, the scooter could cause fairly serious injuries. Bruising, fall injuries and other hazards make them unsafe for sidewalk use.

Scooters, which have two wheels, a long handle and are powered by pushing off with your feet, are considered dangerous for sidewalks. Similarly to bicycles, these vehicles can result in pedestrian accidents and cause crashes.

In busy pedestrian areas, using a scooter is particularly dangerous. A pedestrian who is hit by a scooter has the same right to file a claim as someone who is hit by a bicycle or car. Transit codes classify Razors and nonmotorized scooters as nonmotorized user-propelled vehicles, or NUVs. Skateboards, rollerskates and rollerblades are also NUVs.

If you ride one of these vehicles on a sidewalk, you can be cited for doing so. The California Vehicle Code allows for adults to be cited for riding these vehicles anywhere but the road. If someone is caught doing so, he or she could face a fine of up to $200.

While you may not think that a scooter can do much damage, the metal is hard and has the potential to cut pedestrians. Falling over someone on a scooter or being forced into the road could also cause an accident. If you're hurt, it's important that the individual is held accountable.

Source: Curbed San Francisco, "Reminder: It Is Illegal to Ride Scooters On City Sidewalks," Brock Keeling, accessed Aug. 29, 2017

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