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Are Electric Scooters Legal in Huntington Beach?

Updated on December 1st, 2023

In Huntington Beach, electric scooters can be operated by individuals who are 16 years of age or older, with the requirement that they wear a helmet. The scooters must be equipped with brakes, handlebars not exceeding shoulder height, and appropriate lights and reflectors for nighttime use. Riders must have a valid driver's license, cannot carry passengers, and must not transport items that would prevent one hand from being on the handlebars. Riding on sidewalks is prohibited, as is leaving the scooter unattended in a way that impedes pedestrian traffic. The operator should ride close to the right-hand curb unless making a turn, must use established bicycle lanes on roadways with a speed limit over 25 mph, and can ride on certain bicycle paths unless local ordinances prohibit it. Operating a motorized scooter while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal, and motorized vehicles are generally banned from beaches, pier areas, and parks.

Electric scooters are legal to operate. Must be 16 years or older to operate. Helmets are required. Cannot exceed 15 mph. Cannot be ridden on sidewalks or in the street. Bike lanes are the safest place to ride an electric scooter. Must abide by traffic laws and signals (riding on the right side of the road, yielding to pedestrians, stopping at stop signs).

Recently a number of manufacturers have been selling scooters with electric and gasoline powered motors. These companies market such scooters for outdoor recreation and short distance travel. A person operating a motorized scooter is not required to be licensed (12804.9 CVC). However, motorized scooters are subject to follow all rules of the road (21221 CVC). Some additional laws applicable to Motorized boards, gopeds and scooters are:

  • REGISTRATIONA motorized scooter is not a motorized vehicle and is exempt from registration and proof of financial responsibility requirements (21224(a) CVC).EQUIPMENTMust wear Bicycle helmet (regardless of age) (21235 (c) CVC)
  • Must have Brakes (21235 (a) CVC)
    -⠀Handlebars shall not be over shoulder height (21235 (h) CVC)
    -⠀Lights and reflectors: While driving at night, must have light (21223(a)(1) CVC) rear red reflector (21223(a)(2) CVC) and side white or yellow reflectors (21223(a)(3) CVC).
  • OPERATOR'S LICENSEEffective January 1, 2005, the operator must be licensed.ADDITIONAL RULESMust be 16 years of age or older to ride (21235 (d) CVC)
    -⠀Passengers are prohibited (21235 (e) CVC)
  • Operate a motorized scooter carrying any package, bundle, or article that prevents the operator from keeping at least one hand upon the handlebars (21235 (f) CVC)
    -⠀Riding on Sidewalk prohibited (21235 (g) CVC)
    -⠀Leaving on sidewalk prohibited (21235 (i) CVC)
    -⠀Towing prohibited (21235 (j) CVC)
    -⠀Ride on right side: The operator must stay as close as practical to the right hand curb or roadway edge. (If the operator wishes to make a turn he/she must pull to the right hand curb, get off the scooter and complete the turn by walking the scooter across the street.) (21228 CVC).
    -⠀Bicycle Lane: Any person operating a motorized scooter upon the roadway shall ride within an established bicycle lane (21229 CVC)
    -⠀Cannot be ridden in a roadway with a speed limit over 25 miles per hour speed limit unless the motorized scooter is operated within a class II bicycle lane (Note: California Streets and Highways Section 890.4 provides the definition of the different classifications of bikeways. After researching this Code and contacting CHP, we’ve determined that most of our bikeways are in fact "Class II." ) (21235 (b) CVC)
    -⠀Bicycle Path: …a motorized scooter may be operated on a bicycle path or trailway or bikeway, unless the local authority or the governing body of a local agency having jurisdiction over that path, trail, or bikeway prohibits that operation by ordinance (21230 CVC).
    -⠀May not exceed 15 mph (22411 CVC)
  • No motorized skateboard may be propelled on any sidewalk, roadway, or any other part of a highway or on any bikeway, bicycle path or trail, equestrian trail, or hiking or recreational trail (21968 CVC).
    -⠀Prohibited on Beach: No motorized skateboard or vehicles on the beach, beach service road or pier allowed (13.08.280(a) HBMC)
    -⠀Prohibited in Parks: No person shall operate, drive, ride, park or leave standing any automobile, truck, motorcycle, motor scooter, motorized bicycle, gocart or any other motor vehicle or any other vehicle at any time in any park…(13.48.060(a) HBMC)
    -⠀DUI: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs prohibited (21221.5 CVC)

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