Since the beginning of the millennium, micro-mobility has been growing rapidly. Having small, lightweight personal transportation is a huge convenience, especially when navigating a large metropolitan city.

However, how micro-mobility vehicles are defined and regulated can vary from city to city and between the different types. Differentiating between electric bicycles (or e-bikes), e-scooters, and mopeds requires some education about them. With this guide, we hope to provide the information you need to ride your e-scooter legally and safely throughout the state of New Jersey.

How is An E-Scooter Defined in New Jersey?

An e-scooter is similar to a traditional scooter in appearance, as it has two wheels, a floorboard, and handlebars for control. However, an e-scooter has a battery-powered electric motor that may be attached to either the front or back wheel, allowing it to travel as fast as 20 mph.

In New Jersey, the term "scooter" is related to a variety of vehicles. Traditional motorcycle definitions include motorized scooters, but electric scooters are different. "Low-speed electric scooters" are defined by the law that went into effect in 2021, which says that they have "a floorboard that can be stood upon by the operator, with handlebars, and an electric motor that is capable of propelling the device, with or without human propulsion, at a maximum speed of less than 19 miles per hour."

New Jersey residents can now buy electric bicycles and scooters for recreational use without first visiting the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) under these new laws. This facilitates travel easier for residents who do not have a traditional vehicle. Furthermore, these alternative modes of transportation provide opportunities for persons who are unable to travel by foot or bike.

In addition, the laws allowed shared-mobility businesses like Jump, Bird, Veo, and Lime to form partnerships with local governments to provide e-bike and e-scooter rentals to the general public. In the past two years, a number of towns have introduced test runs of full-scale, e-scooter offerings.

Laws You Must Follow For E-Scooters in New Jersey

All laws pertaining to bicycles also apply to e-scooters. That means a scooter's operators must follow the same rules of the road as motorists, including stopping at red lights and going in the same direction as traffic. Parking of e-scooters on sidewalks will be permitted in the same manner as that of e-bikes, so long as they do not obstruct pedestrian traffic. Towns and cities may have their own laws governing the operation of e-scooters on sidewalks or pedestrian walkways.

Other rules for e-scooters in NJ include: 

  • 19 mph max speed
  • May be parked on sidewalks
  • Riding on sidewalk up to each city
  • No license, insurance, or registration required
  • Must follow all laws applicable to bicycles
  • Helmet use is required for those under age 17

What Do I Do If I'm in an Accident on an E-Scooter?

The growing popularity of motor scooters as a mode of urban transportation is beneficial in many ways. However, those riding on scooters face dangers from vehicles, other pedestrians, or other travelers, and contribute to the increase in accidents in general.

Frequently, accidents involving scooter riders are caused when drivers fail to yield the right of way or are otherwise reckless. Scooterists regularly sustain severe wounds when they are struck by vehicles who are driving carelessly or not paying attention. Injuries can be as minor as cuts or scrapes, or as severe as broken bones, brain trauma or worse. Fatalities are not uncommon either.

Here's what to do if a scooter crash results in injury:

Get Medical Care and Document Your Injuries

Personal injury actions under New Jersey's motor scooter statutes need proof that you were injured in the form of medical records. You can use these records to prove that you were injured, the severity of the injuries and what treatments are needed. Additionally, if you incur a loss of income as a result of your injuries and/or feel pain and suffering, your medical records will help support these claims.

After an accident, it's important to get medical attention right away. Your health is at risk, and official documents will be recorded that indicate the injuries you sustained.

How Insurance Policies Handle Scooter Accidents?

If a personal injury case is pursued, you may be able to seek compensation from a number of different insurance policies. It can be difficult to collect from an individual unless they are affluent, so generally, insurance is used in injury cases, including e-scooter accidents. However, as with any personal injury claim, you must prove that you were injured as a result of another person's negligence.

Motor scooter accidents are often covered by the following insurance policies:

Car Insurance

The liability for a motor scooter accident claim is transferred to the at-fault driver's vehicle insurance policy.

Umbrella Policies

Umbrella insurance is an extra layer of protection on top of your existing vehicle and home insurance. Umbrella insurance, typically held by the wealthy, increases the standard liability limits to upwards of $1 million. Umbrella insurance fills the gap when injuries are serious and compensation is beyond the typical policy maximum.

Business Insurance

Accidents caused by the scooter rental firm will be covered by their liability insurance. In addition, if the accident was the fault of another company, say a delivery service, you would be covered by their liability insurance.

Homeowners Insurance

The policyholder is covered under the liability requirements of their homeowners insurance policy regardless of where they physically are. If a cyclist were to be at fault for an accident you were in, their auto insurance wouldn't kick in, but their homeowner's coverage may as well.

The Injury Attorneys at Brandon J. Broderick Can Help With Your New Jersey E-Scooter Accident

It's common to feel overwhelmed or experience feelings of dread after an accident of any kind, especially if you are injured on an e-scooter. You are not alone. You have options and recourse you can take and the personal injury attorneys at Brandon J. Broderick can help you.

Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, is committed to providing our clients with the highest quality legal representation possible. We offer an open line of communication and are genuinely concerned about the well-being of our clients.

Call us today to discuss your case. We do not charge anything up front to retain our services. It's in our best interest to get you the absolute most compensation we can. We do not get paid until our clients are.

Posted by: Brandon J. Bro…
Date: Thu, 12/01/2022 - 16:56

Still have questions?

Call now and be done