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Central Marin Police
Wednesday August 24th, 2022 :: 03:04 p.m. PDT


Public Education on E-Bikes and Scooters

The Central Marin Police has received multiple reports of kids operating scooters and electric cycles in an unsafe and illegal manner and causing unnecessary risk to themselves and the general public.  Now that the school year is in full swing, more kids are riding these modes of transportation to and from school.  The Central Marin Police is seeking help from parents to ensure that the safety of our children is protected, and the laws are being adhered to.  We will be vigorously enforcing the traffic safety laws and ensuring everyone’s safety with a zero-tolerance policy.  Some helpful tips to navigate the various laws can be found below:

1. Minors have to wear helmets (California Vehicle Code §21235(c))
California Vehicle Code (CVC) §21235 was specifically written for E-scooters, which have an electric motor, a floorboard, and handlebars. One of the sections in it requires riders under 18 to use a bicycle helmet while on an E-scooter. That bike helmet has to fit properly. It also has to be fastened.
Adults do not have to comply with this requirement. They can ride E-scooters without wearing a helmet. E-scooter companies like Lime, Bird and Spin recommend only riding with a helmet. Riding without one is often done at your own risk.

2. Maximum speed is 15 mph (CVC §22411)
CVC §22411 is the state law that puts a speed limit on E-scooters. That speed limit is 15 miles per hour. Going over this speed limit can result in a traffic stop and a ticket. That ticket can cost up to $250.

3. Use bike lanes (CVC §21229)
CVC §21229 requires E-scooters be ridden in bike lanes (a.k.a. bikeways, bike paths, or bicycle paths) whenever one is available.
The traffic law refers to a “Class II bicycle lane.” This type of bicycle lane is on the right edge of a street and has a solid white line on each side. It usually has a bicycle symbol inside the white borders. It only facilitates one-way riding.
The law only allows for 4 exceptions to riding in a Class II bike lane:
-While passing another vehicle or pedestrian,
-When completing a left-hand turn,
-To avoid debris or other hazards in the bike lane, or
-When turning right.
4. No tandem rides, stay off the sidewalks, and have a valid license (CVC §21235)
In addition to requiring E-scooter riders to wear a helmet, CVC §21235 forbids:
-Riding with a passenger on the scooter (also known as a “tandem ride”)
-Riding an E-scooter on the sidewalk,
-Driving an E-scooter without having a valid drivers’ license.
(The only time you are allowed to ride an E-scooter on the sidewalk is to park the scooter or get a parked scooter onto the street.)

5. Crosswalk rules (CVC §275)
CVC §275 defines a crosswalk. At street intersections that are approximately right angles, crosswalks are technically sidewalks under this definition.
Under CVC §21235(g), it is a traffic violation to ride an E-scooter on a sidewalk. Therefore, it is also a violation to ride one in a crosswalk.

6. E-scooters have to follow traffic rules like a motor vehicle (CVC §21221)
CVC §21221 is a “catch-all” traffic law for E-scooters. E-scooters have all the same rights and responsibilities as a motor vehicle.

Central Marin Police
250 Doherty Dr
Larkspur, CA 94939

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 415-927-5150

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