E-scooters are everywhere. They offer a convenient, affordable, and zippy way to get around the city… however, what you might not be aware of is the fact that riding illegally could land you with a fine. Injuring someone, even if you’re not riding illegally, could attract legal liability. With great power— in this case electric power— comes great responsibility. Here’s some important things you should know about Alberta’s e-scooter laws before you ride:
- You must be 18 years of age in order to legally ride an e-scooter. And there are several reasons for that. Since there is no ‘license to ride’ when it comes to e-scooters, there’s no way to really determine whether or not someone will ride responsibly, outside of putting an age restriction on usage.
- In Calgary, e-scooter riders can ride on most quiet sidewalks as long as they do not interfere with other users of the sidewalk. According to the City of Calgary, you can also operate an e-scooter in bike lanes and on quiet or low-volume roads. In Edmonton, e-scooters are NOT allowed on sidewalks and you can only ride on roads where the speed limit is 50 km/h or under.
- Only one person is allowed per scooter! We know it might be convenient to pair up with your child, friend, or partner, but it is very unsafe and 100% illegal to have more than one rider.
- Although wearing a helmet isn’t legally required, it is strongly recommended. Recent data shows that the most common injuries from e-scooter mishaps include traumatic head or face injuries that result in concussions, dental injury, and more.
- Follow all traffic rules including street signs and stop signs while you ride! An e-scooter is no match for a vehicle. Be alert, and obey the rules of the road (or sidewalk)!
- It’s important for your safety, and the safety of others around you, to ride free of any distractions. Most of us know better than to text and drive, and the same goes for texting and scooting… and yes, that applies to things like changing your Spotify song, taking videos, reading emails, etc. If you’re holding an electronic device in your hand while operating an e-scooter, you’re riding illegally. So be sure to keep both eyes ahead, and both hands on the handles!
In Alberta, you generally have up to two years from the date of an e-scooter accident to make a claim in court, or your right to do so is lost forever. But it’s important not to wait as there may be other important deadlines or circumstances, that may affect the deadline or your claim.
If you were injured in an e-scooter accident, or as a result of a negligent rider, and you have questions, just give us a call. Consults are always free at Litco Law, and if you decide to file a claim, you don’t pay us anything until you get paid from your settlement!