Comprehensive Guide to Connecticut’s E-Scooter Laws

Connecticut’s Electric Scooter Laws

The electric scooters have made it to Connecticut! Electric scooters have been trying to come into the state since 2017. As of 2019, electric scooters have been legal in Connecticut. An E-scooter differs from a regular scooter because it uses an electric motor that does not exceed 20 mph. E-scooters can be found mainly in cities such as Hartford, Bridgeport, New Haven, and Fairfield.

Hartford was one of the state’s first adopters of the electric scooter when they contracted initially with the company, Lime. However, that contract ended and now Hartford has connected with a company called Superpedestrian that hosts Link scooters. Unlike other scooter share systems, Link scooters have a unique safety system embedded on the board that confirms they are safe to use before riders use them. Essentially, the scooter self-monitors for maintenance issues. The motor’s speed does not exceed 15 mph.  Let’s face it, we can’t avoid them. Here is what you need to know before getting on one and/or sharing the road with one.

What is Scooter Share?

Scooter share allows a user to rent an electric foot scooter as a way to get around the city. Riders can download the iOS app to locate the nearest scooter. Once the scooter is located, the rider can ride it to their destination. After arriving at the destination, the rider simply leaves the scooter (responsibly) at the location for the next user to locate and ride.

Where can I ride E-scooters?

Electric scooters are to be ridden on the right side of city streets that have a speed limit under 35 mph.  Electric scooters can also be brought to trails for riding. In areas where bike lanes are available, riders are encouraged to ride in the lanes.

Can I legally ride an electric scooter on the road?

It depends which roads you are riding your electric scooter on. If you are riding on a street that has a speed limit under 35 mph, you are allowed to ride on the right side of the road.

Where can I NOT ride E-scooters?

Connecticut’s electric foot scooter laws prohibit riders from riding on the sidewalk. Electric scooters are also not to be ridden on highways, expressways, and streets that have a speed limit over 35 mph. Most scooter share apps will inform you of the zones to ride in and the zones to stay away from. For example, the Link company will shut down the scooter if a rider ventures into a ‘no zone.’

Do I need a driver’s license to ride an E-scooter?

Connecticut’s electric scooter laws state that you must have a driver’s license in order to ride an electric scooter. The scooter share apps require proof of a valid driver’s license before use.  However, you do not need a particular ‘scooter’ license (M endorsement) to ride an electric scooter, as long as it does not exceed 20 mph.

Do I need to wear a helmet to ride an E-scooter in Connecticut?

Connecticut’s helmet laws state that anyone under the age of 18 must wear a helmet when operating a motor scooter. If you are over the age of 18, you legally do not have to wear a helmet, but it is still encouraged. Failure to comply with this law could result in a fine of at least $90.  

Do I need insurance to ride an electric scooter?

Specific scooter insurance is not required, however many insurance carriers do provide broader coverage that may include electric scooters and other recreational vehicles (in an umbrella or excess policy) in case of an accident.

Who is at fault for a scooter accident in Connecticut?

If a rider fails to follow the Connecticut foot scooter laws, such as riding on the right side with traffic, obeying traffic signs, yielding to pedestrians, etc., the rider can be held liable for a scooter collision. Most of the scooter share companies relieve themselves of any accident liability if the rider causes injury/damage to another person or vehicle.  
Electric Scooter Accidents in Connecticut
In Bridgeport, there have been at least two scooter-related accidents that resulted in major injuries. A child was riding an electric scooter on the sidewalk and sustained serious injuries after losing control and crashing into a metal pole. A month later, a pick up truck hit two teenagers riding on a motorized scooter.

Electric Scooter Safety Tips

Electric scooters are to be ridden with traffic, that means riding on the right side of the road at all times. Stay as close to the right side of the road as possible while maintaining safety to avoid car/scooter collisions. Obey all traffic signals and signs just like a car would. Always yield to pedestrians by staying aware of where they might be at all times. Use hand signals when making a turn to inform other drivers and pedestrians that you are turning. Electric scooters are meant for one ride at a time.Only allow ONE person on a scooter at a time.  
Contact our firm Today
It is crucial to be aware of the electric foot scooter laws and guidelines to stay safe and avoid any scooter accidents. If you have been injured in a scooter accident, please call a scooter injury attorney at McCoy & McCoy for a free consultation.

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