Saint Petersburg Motorized Scooter Rules
Cities nationwide have seen a significant increase in the presence of small vehicles such as scooters, usually electric-powered, utilized by pedestrians to get across town much faster than by foot. The interesting part of this increase in scooter use is how they have been implemented. These vehicles are typically not owned by the individuals riding them but are rented out or “shared” via digital app to people over their smartphone for a convenient travel option.
With this flood of scooters in heavily trafficked metropolitan areas like Saint Petersburg there accompanies an influx of accidents involving these vehicles which can end up causing especially severe injuries. In many cases, these accidents that cause severe harm are not the cause of the rider but some other liable party. This has led to an inquiry as to how would taking legal action over accidents involving these vehicles work.
Motorized Scooter Legal Definition
There can be some confusion related to what exactly is considered a scooter with many people mistaking similar but legally different vehicles like mopeds that have pedals with the other vehicles in question. Motor scooters and motorized scooters are small personal transport vehicles that are propelled by combustion or electric motors and are considered motor vehicles under Florida law but these two terms are not legally interchangeable.
Motor scooters and motorized scooters are defined differently under Florida law and as a result, have many differences in the application of laws with regard to their use. In the state of Florida, a motorized scooter is legally identified as a personal single-rider vehicle
- With three wheels or less
- Cannot exceed 30 mph on level ground
- Does not have a seat or saddle
Motor Scooters vs Motorized Scooters
A motor scooter is very similar to a motorized scooter but includes a seat for the rider. Motor scooters have engine power up to 50ccs. You also need to have a title and registration for a motor scooter. Motor scooter operators need to have a class E or a motorcycle-only driver’s license. People using motorized scooters only need to have a regular driver's license and don’t have to register their motorized scooter.
Motor scooters and motorized scooters can often be confused for one another and common vernacular is often ignorant of their legal differences but in a personal injury case, these distinctions can have a significant impact.
Important Florida Scooter Laws
Motorized scooters in Florida have had some changes in recent years due to the influx of these vehicles as apps like Spin and Lime have brought their services to the state. Currently, electric scooter use is legal statewide. However, much of the regulation of motorized scooters have been left to the discretion of individual cities and counties.
Saint Petersburg Motor Scooter and Motorized Scooter Laws
Florida law regarding motor scooters and motorized scooters covers the broad strokes of rules for their operation but cities and counties will each have their own respective laws that can differ greatly. As far as the state of Florida is concerned, motor scooters are street legal but motorized scooters are not but this can change depending on your city such as with Saint Petersburg where you can ride them on streets where the speed limit is under 30mph.
In Saint Petersburg, you cannot ride a motor scooter or motorized scooter on the sidewalk. Motorized scooters can be ridden on main roads where the speed limit is 30 mph or lower. Roads with a higher speed limit can be driven on if there is a bike lane available for the scooter to use. Motorized scooters on roads are beholden to the same traffic laws as larger motor vehicles. You don’t need to wear a helmet while riding a motorized scooter unless you are under the age of 16. Saint Petersburg also has an established 10pm curfew for motorized scooter use.
Who is Liable for Scooter Accidents?
Taking legal action after a scooter accident via personal injury claim or lawsuit requires that some party be considered liable for the damages suffered as a result of the injuries inflicted in the accident.
In some cases, this may involve the other party directly involved in the collision. This will involve obvious reasons like failure to follow traffic laws by using a smartphone while driving or speeding. In other cases, the cause of the accident may lie with the company responsible for providing the scooter. This can be due to issues with the motor scooter that make it unsafe to ride.
Causes of Scooter Accidents
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Road rage
- Vehicle malfunction
- Bad weather
- Lack of scooter visibility
- Failure to yield
Scooter Accident Injuries
Those involved in scooter accidents run the risk of suffering severe injuries when they collide with larger motor vehicles. Even lower-speed collisions still have the potential to inflict severe injuries. Some of the most scooter accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe lacerations and contusions
- Internal injuries
- Road rash
Seek an Experienced Clearwater Bicycle Accident Attorney
While not as common as motor vehicle accidents, bicycle accidents that result in serious or fatal injuries have the potential to change a victim’s life forever. At the Dolman Law Group, we have experience sending demand letters to insurance companies, negotiating settlements, and litigating cases. While we cannot promise a favorable outcome in your case, we can evaluate your claim and estimate potential damages based on industry averages. Damages depend on the severity of your child’s injuries, and how those injuries will affect his or her future medical expenses and earnings.
We have experience representing bicycle accident victims, including children, and have secured favorable settlements or damages awards in many of our cases. Call the experienced Clearwater injury lawyers of the Dolman Law Group at 727-451-6900 or contact us online today to discuss a free consultation on your claim.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765