Motorized or electric scooters, or “e-scooters,” and electric bicycles are becoming increasingly popular methods for getting around; perhaps you’ve seen people zipping around here in Minot and nearby areas. E-scooters and e-bikes can be a fun and fuel-efficient way to get around, but only when riders follow the rules of the road and practice safe driving.
As motorized scooters and bikes evolve, so do the rules and laws that govern them. It’s always worth a “refresher course,” so following is a brief overview of North Dakota’s scooter and bicycle laws. The more you know – whether you’re riding a motorized scooter or sharing the road with one – the easier you can avoid an accident.
Your vehicle counts as a street legal motorized scooter or electric bicycle if it has:
- Pedals or foot rests
- 2 or 3 wheels
- A seat or saddle for the rider
- A width of 32 inches or less
- An automatic drive system (no clutch)
- A motor that:
- Has less than a 50 CC piston displacement
- Has no more than 2-brake horsepower
- Cannot propel the vehicle faster than 30mph
You don’t need a special license for a motorized scooter, electric bicycle, or moped, but you must have a valid driver’s license. You must also have your scooter or bicycle insured, titled, and registered just like any other vehicle.
A motorized scooter or any other similar vehicle is not street legal if it doesn’t have seats, or any of the other equipment listed above. If the vehicle doesn’t fit the above parameters, North Dakota considers it a recreational motor vehicle – vehicles that are typically prohibited on public streets and roads. You should check with your municipality for specific laws on recreational motor vehicles.
Once you have a street legal motorized bicycle or scooter, to ride it, you must:
- Stay off sidewalks and bike paths
- Obey all traffic laws and regulations
- Have brakes, a headlight, and taillight
- Wear a motorcycle helmet (if you’re under 18 years old)
And, of course, drivers and passengers of motorized bikes and scooters must follow all traffic laws. You can visit the North Dakota DOT website for more information.
If you’re injured in a car accident involving an e-scooter or e-bike, the attorneys at Larson Law Firm, P.C. are here. Our goal is to help you heal from your injuries and get you compensation for your losses. Come talk with us. To schedule your free initial consultation with a North Dakota injury lawyer, call our Minot office at 701-484-4878, or fill out our contact form.
Mark Larson is a Certified Civil Trial Specialist and Certified Civil Pre-Trial Specialist focusing on personal injury, motor vehicle, wrongful death, and oil field claims. Since 1979, Larson Law Firm has served the injured throughout North Dakota. Read more about Mark V. Larson