Can Electric Scooters Ride in Bike Lanes?
The answer is yes, and no, it all depends on where you live.
While a lot of us probably assume that the best place for riding an electric scooter is in a bike lane solely based on their similar speeds, the truth isn’t so straightforward. In fact, a number of Michigan municipalities have issued citations or tickets to people for doing just that. This reaction by law enforcement comes as a surprise, as this seems like the safest place for them. While some states allow it, many Michigan residents are still wondering, “can electric scooters ride in bike lanes on Michigan roads?”
While Michigan’s Vehicle Code doesn’t prohibit electric scooters from riding in bike lanes, it conflicts with the Uniform Traffic Code for cities, townships, and villages. The Uniform Traffic Code states, “a person shall not operate a vehicle on or across a bicycle lane, except to enter or leave adjacent property. Since an electric scooter is considered a vehicle under the Uniform Traffic Code, the Code can prohibit the use of scooters in bike lanes if it’s adopted by the municipality. Simply put, municipalities can legally restrict scooter use by adopting the Uniform Traffic Code. Therefore, municipalities can legally restrict scooters from riding in bike lanes.
“Bicycle Lane” is not Equal to “Bicycle Path”
It’s important to note the difference between a bike lane and a bike path. A bicycle lane is defined as, “the portion of a street or highway that is adjacent to the roadway and that is established for the use of persons riding bicycles.” A bike path is described as, “a portion of a street or highway that is separated from the roadway by an open, unpaved surface or by a barrier that is established for the use of persons riding bicycles.”
Scooter Laws – Know Before You Ride
While electric scooter laws in Michigan require local government to publically post ordinances that pertain to electric scooters in applicable areas, it’s always wise to double check with your city, village, or municipality to ensure you’re operating your scooter safely and legally. Has your town adopted the Uniform Traffic Code? If so, do you know if you can ride your electric scooters in bikes lanes, or are they prohibited? Check with city officials to make sure before riding and save yourself from a potential citation or costly ticket.
Written by Michigan personal injury and bicycle attorney, Bryan Waldman.
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle-scooter accident, we’re here to help you. With decades of experience, our Michigan personal injury attorneys are dedicated to advocating for bicyclists and scooterists rights. Call us today for an initial case review at 517-394-7500 or fill out an online contact form here.