Jason Stephens | February 22, 2023 | Texas Law
The question of whether you need a license and insurance to ride a scooter in Fort Worth depends on how you define the word “scooter.” It is not a legal term, and it appears nowhere in Texas law. We’ll explain further here.
What Is a Scooter?
For the purposes of this article, “scooter” means a self-propelled vehicle with pedals, fewer than four wheels, and a power source of under 50 CCs (internal combustion engine) or 4476 watts (electric engine). A scooter is distinct from a motorcycle, a bicycle, and a motorized bicycle.
People prefer scooters to automobiles because they are easy to park, good on gas mileage, and environmentally friendly. Nevertheless, riders are vulnerable to injury and death because of the complete lack of frame protection. Scooters can also hurt others, especially in pedestrian accidents and motorcycle accidents. For these reasons, among others, scooters are subject to certain licensing and insurance requirements.
No Special License Is Needed To Ride a Scooter
In Texas, you need a valid driver’s license to operate a scooter. However, you don’t need a special ”scooter license,” a motorcycle license, or any other special license to operate one. Just like a car, you must also register your scooter before you can drive it on public roads.
You need liability insurance to operate a scooter in Texas. The mandatory minimum limits are the same as they are for automobiles — $30,000 per person in bodily injury liability insurance, $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. This basic coverage is known as 30/60/25 coverage.
By default, you are required to wear a helmet when riding a scooter in Texas – unless you are able to opt out of doing so by meeting certain criteria. There could legal consequences to riding without one as well. If you suffer an accident, you may have trouble collecting compensation for any head injury that you could have avoided by wearing a helmet. Moreover, statistics prove that helmets save lives.
Can You Operate a Scooter on the Highway?
It is illegal to ride a scooter on any public highway in Texas. This law also applies consistently throughout the country. More specifically, you can only ride a scooter on a road that allows bicycles.
If you have observed everyday life in Ft. Worth, you should know that it is legal to ride scooters on most city streets and residential neighborhoods. Although you cannot ride a scooter on a sidewalk, you can use them in designated bicycle lanes.
While operating a scooter, you must obey all the same traffic rules that automobiles must obey. Lane splitting (riding between lanes of traffic) is illegal throughout Texas, although many people do it. Even if you are not ticketed for lane-splitting, you could face significant liability if an accident occurs while you are doing so.
E-scooters (stand-up electric scooters) are legal to ride on public streets with speed limits below 35 mph. You don’t even need a driver’s license to operate one. You can ride on the road, in a bicycle lane, and on the sidewalk. Riding an e-scooter on the sidewalk is risky, however, due to the possibility of pedestrian collisions.
Although even children under 16 can ride e-scooters, most scooter rental companies will refuse to rent to anyone without a driver’s license.
A Texas Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you have suffered an injury in a scooter accident that you believe someone else is responsible for, you should seek compensation. You might not need a lawyer to settle a minor accident. Nevertheless, the assistance of a personal injury lawyer is a near necessity for a serious accident because you will need to negotiate with a savvy insurance adjuster. A skilled lawyer can negotiate a settlement far greater than you could probably negotiate on your own.
Remember that most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. That means you pay nothing upfront and no attorney’s fees unless you win or settle your case.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth personal injury lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.
Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 300
Fort Worth, TX 76107