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New state law loosens safety requirements

Many people in California have witnessed firsthand the amazing influx of electric scooters in their local areas. These new modes of transportation may look fun and inviting to many but they may also be somewhat dangerous, especially in the event of an accident. Just like riding a motorcycle, a bicycle, a skateboard or a non-motorized scooter, a person is always at a grave risk for a head injury if they crash for whatever reason.

While people who rent and ride these new scooters have theoretically been required to wear helmets, almost none seem to do so. Now the Governor of California has signed into law a bill that makes the actions of people basically the law. Effective January 1, 2019, helmets will not be required for any adult riding an electric scooter. It should be noted that most companies only allow adults to ride and rent the scooters so the fact that minors are still required to wear helmets is somewhat not important.

While also removing the requirement to wear protective headgear, the Governor expanded the list of viable roads on which people may operate the electric scooters. Riders may travel on any surface street with a bike lane regardless of its posted speed limit. For roads without bike lanes, people may travel via scooter if the speed limit is 35 miles per hour or less.

Vehicle drivers and scooter riders should be concerned about this change in the law as it puts many people at risk. Riders may sustain head injuries and drivers may be forced to deal with grief if they are involved in an accident with a scooter rider even if it is not their fault. 

 

 

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