Different states in the USA have different laws regarding electric skateboard usage, so you need to know the law of a state before joining the electric skateboard craze. If you’re in Florida or planning to go there soon, here what the law says.
Electric skateboards are illegal to be operated in public. To clarify, it isn’t illegal to use it, just as long as you aren’t on the roads or public paths. The reason for this law is because all vehicles must be licensed and insured before they are deemed road-worthy in Florida. Electric skateboards aren’t technically classified as vehicles but are still required to meet this criterion, however, they don’t. The law is seemingly outdated, so don’t be surprised if you see people riding electric skateboards in public, the police have better things to do.
If you ant to learn more about the law in Florida regarding e-skateboards, take a look at what follows!
Where can you ride your electric skateboard in Florida?
As electric skateboards are illegal for use in public, but not illegal to own, the challenge is finding a place to ride them legally. With all roads and paths out of the question, the only place left for you is privately owned properties. This expands to include but is not limited to:
Your home is always a viable option to ride your electric skateboard. Depending on the space you have in your land, you can make your track more interesting. If you’re interested in performing tricks, you can set up equipment and make your yard look like an Olympic arena. Ensure you do all this away from passers-by as they will be in public, which makes any collision automatically your fault, and you can be penalized.
If you live in an estate, there is probably a lot of free lands available. You may need to get the permission of the landowner but once you do, you have a riding track. If you’re lucky, someone else has already obtained permission and you won’t have to do much. You can even have some sort of community-based on the number of people who ride electric skateboards in the estate.
As long as you have the permission of the owner of any private property, you can use it to ride your electric skateboard. Parks are designed to give you exactly that, making them the perfect place to ride your electric skateboard. The only downside is that you will have to worry about civilians as they would likely frequent the park as well. Simply ensure you keep moderate speeds and avoid contact with any civilians and you should be fine.
A legal loophole!
It is common to see people riding their electric skateboards on the road even though it is illegal to do so. This begs the question, ‘how are they getting away with it?’ Florida law allows for a motorized vehicle with an output less than 700W, traveling at speeds under 32km/hr (20mph) to operate on certain lanes. The lanes allowing their operation include sidewalks, and bike lanes, and their use is subject to certain conditions the rider is expected to uphold.
The motorized vehicles intended in this law are mopeds but the ambiguity of the law allows electric skateboard users to operate with impunity.
Laws you need to obey if you ride in public!
Give way to pedestrians
Pedestrians are the main priority on sidewalks and even bicycle lanes ahead of electric skateboard users. Where there is a crowd of oncoming pedestrians, you need to steer clear of them. Stick to one end of the road, freeing up the rest of it for the pedestrians. It is your job to maintain safety and if you are involved in a collision, it will be categorized as your fault.
Use a helmet
For both your safety and that of the pedestrians around you. No matter how experienced a rider you are, crashes can still happen and if they do, then you are at risk if you aren’t wearing a helmet. This isn’t to say that helmets eliminate all the risk, but it certainly helps lower it. In one reported case, a 53-year-old experienced rider died from injuries that could seemingly have been avoided was he wearing a helmet.
Maintain reasonable speeds
Speeding is a sure way to get the attention of the police and that is the last thing you want especially when what you are doing is illegal. The best way to go about undisturbed is to move at speeds that are considered safe to both you as a rider and the pedestrians around you. At the recommendation of a legal professional, maintain speeds less than 32km/hr (20mph) when operating on public roads. This way, law enforcement officers won’t see you as a problem, and the laws that offer a bit of a legal loophole all require motorized vehicles to maintain low speeds.
Do you need a license?
No, you don’t need a license to operate an electric skateboard in Florida. As they are not exactly legal, the state officials don’t go around handing licenses to vehicles that aren’t legal. Even if you wanted to obtain a license for it, it may not be possible, so just go about your normal business.
Do you need insurance?
No, you don’t need to have insurance to operate an electric skateboard in Florida. You may not find a plan for your electric skateboard, but it might be possible to get collision insurance. If you can do that, please do, as it can help prevent you from legal issues or bills.
Can you ride an electric skateboard on the sidewalk?
You can’t legally ride an electric skateboard on the sidewalk as it is a part of the public, which is off-limits to electric skateboards. If you consider the law that allows certain motorized vehicles to operate in public, then you can ride your electric skateboard on the sidewalk. You will however have to give way to the pedestrians present on the sidewalk. If possible, stick to one side of the sidewalk, allowing the pedestrians access to the rest of the road. By law, the sidewalk belongs to pedestrians.
To operate your electric skateboard in Florida requires the rider to assess the situation around them. The best advice you can get is to stay away from areas that are crowded with pedestrians. As long as you do that and obey traffic rules, then you should be able to operate your electric skateboard freely. As long as you’re obeying the laws, the police won’t see you as a threat and will likely leave you alone. If on the other hand, you’re too scared of the possibility of doing something that could potentially be illegal, then you can stick to private property and still have fun with your electric skateboards.