California vehicle code 21235 details exactly what is prohibited while operating a motorized scooter. This is important because, though motorized scooters have engines like cars, they are often subject to different traffic laws.
Where motorized scooters can operate is one of the points that deviates from laws governing cars. Scooters are not to be driven on a highway with a speed limit over 25 miles per hour unless the motorized scooter is driven in a class II bicycle lane.
Motorized scooter operators are never allowed to carry a passenger on the motorized bike, or any object that would prevent the driver from keeping at least one hand on the handlebars. It is further prohibited for a motorized scooter to be driven on a highway with the handlebars raised such that the driver must place his hands above shoulder-level in order to hold the steering area. A comfortable steering position must always be assumed in order for safe operation of a motorized scooter.
Motorized scooters are not to be operated if the driver is not wearing proper safety equipment. A secure bicycle helmet, that meets the standards described in Section 21212, must be worn by the driver while operating the scooter.
Drivers of motorized scooters are not allowed to operate scooters that have insufficient brakes. Motorized scooters must be equipped with a brake that allows the operator to make the wheel skid on dry pavement when the brake is applied.
Motorized scooters must operate on their own. The driver is prohibited from attaching himself or herself to another vehicle, or attaching any part of the scooter to another vehicle while in operation.
Motorized scooters are prohibited from operating on sidewalks, as doing so would put pedestrians in danger. Scooter are allowed to cross sidewalks only to leave a property and join traffic on the road. It follows that drivers of motorized scooters are not allowed to park their scooters on a sidewalk, in any position. Obstructing the sidewalk for pedestrian traffic prohibited.
Similar to cars and any other motor vehicle, an operator is unlawful to drive a motorized scooter with out a valid driver's license or instructional permit.
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