Operation of Motorized Scooters - CVC 21229
Bird, Lyft, Lime riders listen up. California Vehicle Code Section 21229 makes it illegal to ride a scooter outside of the designated bike lane.
CVC - 21229
(a) Whenever a class II bicycle lane has been established on a roadway, any person operating a motorized scooter upon the roadway shall ride within the bicycle lane, except that the person may move out of the lane under any of the following situations:
(1) When overtaking and passing another vehicle or pedestrian within the lane or when about to enter the lane if the overtaking and passing cannot be done safely within the lane.
(2) When preparing for a left turn, the operator shall stop and dismount as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or right edge of the roadway and complete the turn by crossing the roadway on foot, subject to the restrictions placed on pedestrians in Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 21950).
(3) When reasonably necessary to leave the bicycle lane to avoid debris or other hazardous conditions.
(4) When approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.
(b) No person operating a motorized scooter shall leave a bicycle lane until the movement can be made with reasonable safety and then only after giving an appropriate signal in the manner provided in Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 22100) in the event that any vehicle may be affected by the movement.
What is Reasonable Safe defined by the Vehicle Code (CVC)?
The degree of caution and concern for the safety of himself/herself and others an ordinarily prudent and rational person would use in the circumstances. This is a subjective test of determining if a person is negligent, meaning he/she did not exercise reasonable care.
Being reasonable safe is a discretionary call made by each citing officer. The threshold of negligence will be different in every situation depending upon the individual officer’s perception of the events. Due to the subjective nature of these violations and if a bicycle lane was or wasn’t present always gives you a chance at successfully dismissing the violation.