Does my Child Have to Wear a Helmet While Riding an Electric Scooter?


February 06, 2017

Does my Child Have to Wear a Helmet While Riding an Electric Scooter?

Electric motorcycles and scooters have evolved to become more than only simple transportation. They have also become a popular play activity for young children. Wikipedia defines a Electric motorcycles and scooters as "plug-in electric vehicles with two or three wheels powered by electricity." Just about all electric scooters and motorcycles have an rechargeable battery to power the electric motor. The difference between electric motorcycle and electric scooters is the frame. Electric scooter include a "step-through frame." The speed can range from 4 MPH to 35 MPH.

Are There Any Legal Mandates in Georgia Obligating Electric Scooter Riders to Wear a Helmet?

Georgia does not have any laws that require children to wear helmets when riding a push scooter. A push scooter is a unique toy. It has similarities to, but is not, a bicycle or a skateboard. Like a bicycle, a push scooter has two wheels and is propelled by human power. However, the defining difference between a push scooter and a bicycle is size of the wheels. In Georgia, a bicycle is defined as a "device propelled by human power having only two wheels which are in tandem and either of which is more than 13 inches in diameter." Georgia does have specific laws that control the operation of bicycles, including one that requires every person under the age of 16 years to wear a helmet. But since a push scooter is not a bike, those do not apply.

Similarly, a push scooter is not a skateboard. Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines a skateboard as "a short board mounted on small wheels that is used for coasting and for performing athletic stunts." The addition of a handlebar distinguishes a push scooter from a skateboard (although some extreme sports enthusiasts have taken to doing stunts on push scooters). Local jurisdictions in Georgia do have regulations that control the skateboarding, particularly in skateboarding parks, and some do require helmets for children under a certain age. Again, a push scooter is not a bike, and those regulations do not apply.

As for scooters, Georgia does have laws that control their operation, but these are for motorized, not push, scooters. Under Georgia's motor vehicle laws, a scooter is defined as a vehicle having 3 wheels or fewer on the ground and a saddle for the operator or passenger meant to be driven on a road or highway. If a scooter has an engine of more than 50 cubic centimeters, it must be titled and registered.

While Georgia has not legislated a mandate on wearing helmets while operating a push scooter, any parent, guardian or custodian of a minor child is fool hearty to allow that child not to wear a sturdy bicycle helmet. Push scooters can reach speeds in excess of 10 miles per hour. Children often ride their scooters on neighborhood streets and share the road with cars. Crashes and spills occur, resulting in painful injuries and fractures. With the increased focus of concussions, head injuries are of particular concern. 

Put Our Law Firm's Over 32 Years of Legal Experience to Work For You!

The personal injury lawyers at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law are committed to the safety of everyone using the highway and roadways. Our firm has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout Georgia and in the Southeast for over thirty-two years, If you, your child or a loved one suffer an injury in a collision between a push scooter and a motor vehicle, our attorneys are just a phone call away no matter where you are, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law

17 Executive Park Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 1 (404) 529-6333
Toll Free:   1 (800) LAW-NEED
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Sources:

https://dps.georgia.gov/georgia-code-low-speed-vehicles

https://books.google.com/books?id=P94DAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA560#v=onepage&q&f=false 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_motorcycles_and_scooters

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.