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Electric Scooters in North Carolina: Riding Rules and Regulations

Navigating the streets of North Carolina is an exciting experience, especially when you're riding an electric scooter. These convenient, eco-friendly modes of transportation have grown in popularity, and many users are curious about the rules and regulations surrounding them in the Tar Heel State. In this article, we'll explore where electric scooters can be ridden in North Carolina and shed light on their legal standing.

North Carolina Law on Electric Scooters

According to North Carolina state law, electric scooters are considered to be electric assisted bicycles. Therefore, they are subject to the same rules and regulations that apply to bicycles. However, there are a few additional considerations to be aware of when operating these unique vehicles in the state.

Riding on Sidewalks and Streets

In general, electric scooters can be ridden anywhere bicycles are allowed, such as bike lanes and designated pedestrian areas. However, local governments have the authority to implement their restrictions regarding riding electric scooters on sidewalks and streets. Some North Carolina cities, like Raleigh and Charlotte, have imposed specific rules and regulations on electric scooter usage within their jurisdictions.

For example, in Raleigh, electric scooters are not allowed on sidewalks in certain downtown areas, and riders must adhere to a 15 mph speed limit. In Charlotte, electric scooters are permitted on sidewalks, but riders must yield to pedestrians, maintain a speed of 15 mph or less, and avoid using the scooters on certain streets.

Local Restrictions and Shared Electric Scooter Programs

Be sure to stay up-to-date on the local restrictions and rules for using electric scooters in North Carolina's various municipalities. Additionally, some cities, such as Durham and Greensboro, have implemented shared electric scooter programs. These scooter rental services provide an excellent opportunity for residents and visitors to experience the benefits of electric scooters These scooter rental services provide an excellent opportunity for residents and visitors to experience the benefits of electric scooters without having to purchase their own. The rules and regulations surrounding these programs may differ from those for privately-owned electric scooters, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the guidelines.


While electric scooter riders in North Carolina need to be aware of the state and local regulations, there are still plenty of areas where these vehicles can be enjoyed legally. As long as you adhere to the rules and mind your surroundings, electric scooters can be an excellent way to explore the beautiful landscape and urban areas of the Tar Heel State.

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