January 3, 2019: State Lawmakers Race to Keep Up With Electric Scooters
Since the end of 2017, 39 of the 100 largest US cities have been introduced to electric scooters, also known as e-scooters, which look like regular scooters, but travel up to 15 MPH. E-scooter rental services allow users to download an app, find an electric scooter nearby, unlock it, and ride. Because e-scooters are relatively new, regulation is catching up. Often users can operate them on sidewalks and bike paths without helmets, leading to injuries for both users and pedestrians. State lawmakers in at least 15 states plan to consider legislation to regulate the e-scooter industry in 2019.
Currently, 10 states (California, Delaware, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Utah, and Washington) have laws addressing electronic scooters. Of these states, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Oregon require helmets for all electronic scooter riders and California, Delaware, and Minnesota require helmets only for those younger than 18. Virginia’s law authorizes localities to establish helmet laws for electronic scooters but does require such provisions.
For safety information on related products see Bicycle Helmets: What Every Parent Should Know and Skateboarding and In-Line Skating.