New Rules in Effect for Electric Vehicles on CA Roads

July 29, 2016 | Category: Car Accidents, Personal Injury

Given the similar size, speed and maneuverability of gas-powered vehicles on the road, electric cars have not posed any new traffic safety issues, but they are not the only popular electric vehicles. Now that smaller electric vehicles are more prevalent, California has instituted new laws to help keep everyone on the roads and sidewalks safe.

Even Without Licenses, Users of Small Electric Vehicles Must Obey the Laws

Licensed drivers are expected to follow the rules of the road, but that does not mean that individuals on small electric vehicles who use the roads (or sidewalks) are immune from the law. This is why it is important to review the January 2016 article from The Orange County Register, which explains a number of laws that became effective as of the beginning of the year. The following new laws pertain specific to electric vehicles:

  • Electric skateboards are limited for use by individuals age 16 and older, and helmets are required. Riders must keep within the 15 mph speed limit on sidewalks, paths, trails and roads with a maximum posted speed limit of 35 mph. Night use is prohibited, unless they meet specific lighting requirements.
  • Electric bicycles are defined as one of three different classifications. They can be pedal-assisted or operate solely with a motor, and the law prohibits tampering with them to change their speed capability without getting them reclassified. Some electric bikes are generally prohibited from paths, lanes and trails. Moreover, all riders need to abide by existing traffic laws and certain classifications require operation by helmeted riders age 16 and older.

The new laws can be confusing, but no one should venture out for a ride without understanding the laws that pertain to their specific vehicles.

Complying With The Laws Does Not Fully Eliminate the Risk of Serious Injuries

People who use any type of small vehicle are generally unprotected against major injuries. Particularly on sidewalks, they also run the risk of causing injuries to pedestrians who may not even be aware of them until it is too late. While the laws are a good start at reducing the risks of adding electric vehicles to California traffic, they certainly cannot prevent all serious accidental injuries.

It is nearly impossible to predict the full range of events that can lead to accidents involving small electric vehicles. Additionally, identifying all parties that might contribute to these accidents can be challenging, especially in the tense moments immediately following a crash.

To gain experienced legal support with thorough investigative resources, call an experienced Los Angeles injury lawyer from The Rudman Law Firm at (844) 478-3626 / (844) 4RUDMAN, at our Los Angeles office at (213) 375-3777 or at our Studio City office (818) 769-6969.

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