Electric Scooter Laws for Arizonaby Rob Callahan
A variety of electric scooters are available to all ages and lifestyles of enthusiasts. The laws governing the operation of electric scooters vary according to their capabilities and generally fall under the existing laws for bicycles, mopeds and motorcycles. The most prominent determiner as to which set of laws applies to a specific electric scooter is its maximum speed, which determines the type of vehicle it is considered under Arizona state law.
Electric Bicycle Laws
Electric scooters with a motor of less than 750W of power and a top speed of less than 20 mph fall under the jurisdiction of electric or electric-assisted bicycles laws. Arizona has no state or regional law governing the use of electric bicycles, so federal laws apply. These vehicles are required to have fully operable pedals and conform to all of the safety standards of traditional bicycles. Electric scooters that fall under this classification can be ridden anywhere a bicycle can go, including sidewalks and bicycle lanes. These scooters cannot be operated in traffic lanes or on highways and cannot accommodate more than one rider.
For electric scooters with up to 25 mph top speed and 1.5 braking horsepower, Arizona moped laws apply. Mopeds in Arizona do not require a title but must be registered every year by Oct. 31. These vehicles require insurance and a valid driver's license to operate and can be licensed with a bill of sale. Riders younger than 18 are required to wear a helmet when operating a moped.
Scooter and Motorcycle Laws
Electric scooters that exceed the top speed and horsepower limitations of mopeds are governed by traditional motorcycle laws. Motorcycle riders are required to wear eye protection at all times, and helmets are compulsory for all riders younger than 18. Motorcycles require motor vehicle titles and insurance to operate in Arizona, and riders need a driver's license with a motorcycle endorsement. Unlike smaller and slower bikes, electric scooters that are classed as motorcycles can not be operated on sidewalks or in bicycle lanes, but they can travel on highways if their maximum speed permits it and passengers are allowed.
- bicycle image by Vitezslav Halamka from Fotolia.com