Kibbey Wagner, PLLC | July 7, 2022 | Personal Injury
The beautiful coastal environment of Port St. Lucie makes enjoying the outdoors a natural choice. Bicycles and motorcycles have always been a popular way to get around Port St. Lucie, but in recent years another two-wheeled vehicle has grown in popularity — the motor scooter.
Here’s what you need to know about staying safe on a motor scooter while enjoying Port St. Lucie’s ocean views.
What Are Motor Scooters?
Scooters have long been popular among children. They feature a two-wheeled board to stand on and handlebars for steering. A motor scooter is the adult version of the popular toy. A small motor powers the scooter, making it a convenient way to get around quickly.
Motor scooters, also called motorized scooters, electric scooters, or e-scooters, are much slower and less regulated than larger transportation options, such as mopeds and motorcycles. The average motor scooter accelerates to only around 15 mph.
Why Motor Scooters Can Be Dangerous
Motor scooters pose safety risks for a few reasons.
First, they’re new. That means there’s still not much regulation over where they can be operated. This lack of accommodation means that riders may find themselves at risk of collision with pedestrians, cyclists, and larger vehicles.
Second, motor scooters offer no protection at all to riders. Riders over 16 in Florida aren’t even required to wear a helmet. Should a car accident occur, a motor scooter rider risks facing serious or fatal injuries.
Finally, motor scooters can be dangerous due to design reasons. Small wheels, fast acceleration, and inexperienced riders often combine to result in accidents. The growing popularity of motor scooters and similar transportation options has led to a 70% rise in micromobility injury rates in the past four years.
What You Should Know Before Riding a Motor Scooter in Port St. Lucie
Motor scooters hold a unique place when it comes to Florida law. On the one hand, they’re relatively small and slow. On the other hand, they’re a motorized form of transportation, and a motor scooter accident can have serious consequences for everyone involved.
Port St. Lucie follows Florida’s statewide motor scooter requirements. The rider of a motor scooter in Port St. Lucie should be aware of local laws before jetting down to the beach.
Florida e-scooter laws state the following:
- Micromobility devices don’t need to be registered
- Riders over 16 don’t need to wear a helmet
- Drivers do not need to have a valid driver’s license
Unlike a motorcycle, there are no special licensing or registration requirements for a motor scooter in Port St. Lucie.
Motor Scooter Laws in Port St. Lucie
Motor scooters are regarded as something of a safety concern — they’re too slow for the street but too fast for the sidewalk. This issue can severely limit where scooter riders can legally travel.
The city of Port St. Lucie is actively working to make the streets safer for motor scooter riders. In 2021, the city set out a mobility plan that includes the addition of lanes for micromobility devices — including motor scooters.
Several local businesses in Port St. Lucie offer motor scooter rentals, which are popular with both locals and tourists. Some scooter rental agencies offer additional safety precautions. For example, one local option is LINK scooters. Scooter rental comes with access to an app that shows riders safe riding zones in Port St. Lucie.
Motor scooters are new to Florida. They were legalized in 2019 by Governor Ron DeSantis. This means that regulations, laws, and safety precautions are still being rolled out. Motor scooter riders in Port St. Lucie should keep an eye out for changes to local laws in the coming months and years.
A motorcycle accident lawyer can help if you’ve been injured in a scooter accident. You should contact a Port St. Lucie personal injury lawyer if you’ve been injured in a motor scooter accident. Kibbey Wagner offers free consultations.