A recent law passed by the Hawaii state legislature expands the use of e-scooters in the Aloha State. Some Honolulu residents consider e-scooters an annoyance. Others see them as safety hazards.
But other decision-makers, including the state government, recognize a need for alternative transportation options. We should all expect to see more e-scooters on the road in the future.
Hawaii’s New Electric Scooter Law
Under the new law, Hawaii House Bill 72 (HB-72), e-scooters in Hawaii are now legal to operate on streets and roadways. Scooter riders must abide by the same rules that motorists are bound by. The law allows counties to regulate the operation of e-scooters on local roads, bike paths, and sidewalks, including the maximum allowable speed, safe operation, storage and docking requirements, and insurance requirements. Some of the rules created by the statute include:
- No one under 15 can use an e-scooter on a highway, street, roadway, or public property.
- Individuals under 16 cannot operate an e-scooter without a helmet featuring a chin strap.
- E-scooters can only bear one rider.
- Riders cannot carry any package or item that prevents them from using both hands to operate the e-scooter.
The law also establishes penalties for users who operate an e-scooter recklessly and creates regulations for e-scooter rental companies.
What is Different from the Previous Law?
Honolulu city law previously considered e-scooters to be illegal on public roads. The law at that time categorized e-scooters as mopeds. For a moped to be street-legal, it must have a license plate, registration, and undergo a safety inspection.
Under the new Hawaii scooter law, e-scooters are no longer classified as mopeds and are subject to their own regulations. Under HB-72, scooters must be registered with the state and are subject to a permanent registration fee of $30.
Why Did We Need a New E-Scooter Rule?
The new e-scooter law will create a legal, alternative method of transportation, which may help free up motor vehicle traffic on Honolulu roadways. In addition to bikes and mopeds, e-scooters are a convenient, environmentally-friendly, short-distance transportation option for residents who don’t own cars. And as tourism increases, rental cars are harder to come by, making e-scooters all the more vital for visitors.
Tips to Prevent E-Scooter Accidents
As motorists increasingly share the road with e-scooter drivers, they must exercise caution. Because scooters are smaller and narrower, checking blind spots carefully will be essential. Similarly, e-scooter riders must be mindful of following traffic laws and taking steps to prevent injury by riding responsibly, wearing bright clothing, and not lingering in blind spots.
Get Legal Help After an E-Scooter Accident in Hawaii
Were you seriously injured in an electric scooter accident in Hawaii? You could be entitled to compensation for your losses. Reach out to an Oahu e-scooter accident lawyer at Recovery Law Center. There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain by scheduling a free consultation. Call or contact us now.