Utah Scooter Accident Lawyer–Jake Gunter.
Being hit while riding your own scooter, or a ride share scooter can cause serious injuries. Because ride share scooters or personally owned motor assisted scooters are relatively new, having a Utah scooter accident attorney who really knows what traffic code provisions apply can make all the difference.
Here is a breakdown on what parts of the Utah Traffic Code applies to automobile versus scooter accidents.
The Utah Traffic Code and Utah Scooter Accidents—The Staring Point.
The starting point for all accidents occurring on Utah roadways, whether between two cars colliding on I-15 near Provo, a rear-end accident on Orem State Street or a scooter being hit by a car is the Utah Traffic Code. Utah Code 41-6a-101. The traffic code has 20 different “parts” or chapters to it. The Utah Traffic Code is a voluminous legislative act.
General Definitions Section for Scooters—Utah Traffic Code.
Like most large legislative acts, the Utah Traffic Code has a robust definitions sections, found at 41-6A-102. Crosswalks, pedestrians, bicycles and scooters are specifically defined for purposes of the Act.
Motor Assisted Scooter is defined as:
“Motor assisted scooter” means a self-propelled device with:
(i) at least two wheels in contact with the ground;
(ii) a braking system capable of stopping the unit under typical operating conditions;
(iii) an electric motor not exceeding 2,000 watts;
(A) handlebars and a deck design for a person to stand while operating the device; or
(B) handlebars and a seat designed for a person to sit, straddle, or stand while operating the device;
(v) a design for the ability to be propelled by human power alone; and
(vi) a maximum speed of 20 miles per hour on a paved level surface.
(b) “Motor assisted scooter” does not include:
(i) an electric assisted bicycle; or
(ii) a motor-driven cycle.
See Utah Code 41-6A-102(39).
The big, non-definitional section on motor assisted scooters or ride share scooters is Utah Code 41-6A-1115. The basic rule is that a motor assisted scooter must conform the Utah Traffic Code that apply to bicyclists with a few exceptions. It reads:
41-6a-1115. Motor assisted scooters — Conflicting provisions — Restrictions — Penalties.
(1)(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a motor assisted scooter is subject to the provisions under this chapter for a bicycle.
(b) For a person operating a motor assisted scooter, the following provisions do not apply:
(i) seating positions under Section 41-6a-1501;
(ii) required lights, horns, and mirrors under Section 41-6a-1506;
(iii) entitlement to full use of a lane under Subsection 41-6a-1502(1); and
(iv) driver licensing requirements under Section 53-3-202.
(c) A person may operate a motor assisted scooter across a roadway in a crosswalk, except that the person may not operate the motor assisted scooter in a negligent manner in the crosswalk:
(i) so as to collide with a:
(A) pedestrian; or
(B) person operating a bicycle or vehicle or device propelled by human power; or
(ii) at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the existing conditions, giving regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing.
(2) A person under eight years of age may not operate a motor assisted scooter with the motor running on any public property, highway, path, or sidewalk.
(3) A person may not operate a motor assisted scooter:
(a) in a public parking structure;
(b) on public property posted as an area prohibiting bicycles;
(c) while carrying more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed;
(d) that has been structurally or mechanically altered from the original manufacturer’s design, except for an alteration by, or done at the request of, a person who rents the motor assisted scooter to lower the maximum speed for the motor assisted scooter; or
(e) at a speed of greater than 15 miles per hour or in violation of Subsection 41-6a-1115.1(3).
(4) Except where posted or prohibited by local ordinance, a motor assisted scooter is considered a nonmotorized vehicle if it is being used with the motor turned off.
(5) An owner may not authorize or knowingly permit a person under the age of 18 to operate a motor assisted scooter in violation of this section.
(6) A person who violates this section is guilty of an infraction.
Amended by Chapter 428, 2019 General Session ‘’
Motorized Scooters Treated Like Bicycles under Utah Traffic Code.
Section 41-6A-1115 “Except as otherwise provided in this section, a motor assisted scooter is subject to the provisions under this chapter for a bicycle.” Bicycles and thus scooters can ride on the road. On the sidewalk and in crosswalks. Scooters like bicycles always must avoid hitting pedestrians and always must ride in a reasonable and prudent manner for the circumstances. Scooters are treated like bicycles when it comes to riding in a crosswalk. Just like bicycles you can ride them in the crosswalk, or walk them in the crosswalk. Yet the capstone of riding a scooter or bicycle in a Utah crosswalk is that you must operate it reasonably and prudent under the circumstances.