Electric scooters, such as those offered by the rental company Lime, are taking the country by storm. Not only are they convenient, but they also allow users an environmentally-friendly way to get around and enjoy Tennessee. Some even make the argument that they are helping with congestion on the state’s streets. However, it is important that users know there is more to using these than just opening an app. In Tennessee, there are rules and if you do not abide by them, you could face strict penalties.
“Abiding by the rules the state has laid out for scooter usage is important for everyone’s safety,” said Gary Massey of Massey & Associates, PC “There are already too many accidents between pedestrians and vehicles, and no one wants scooters adding to those numbers.”
So, what are those rules?
First and foremost, only certain people can ride them. In order to operate a scooter, you must be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license. Some may try to get around this by taking a passenger on a scooter that is under the legal age. However, this too is against the law. In Tennessee, only one person can ride on a scooter at a time.
One of the most confusing laws about scooters in the state is that they cannot be ridden on sidewalks in business districts. This law tends to cause confusion because not everyone knows what is officially considered a business district; therefore, someone could be penalized for riding illegally on the sidewalk. In areas where scooter riders are using the sidewalk legally, they must still yield to pedestrians and give an audible warning if they are going to pass.
Lastly, it is important to remember that scooters are vehicles. Scooters come with the same responsibilities as cars and bicycles. In order to avoid car and pedestrian accidents, scooter operators must abide by the rules of the road. This means following all traffic signs and signals, and giving right-of-way to anyone the law requires.