First off, I’ll state the obvious: Esk8 is fully illegal in Florida despite the fact that many of us get away with it.
Now for the good news: Senate bill 542 “An act relating to mobility devices and motorized scooters” is real damn close to being our salvation. I’ll summarize it because legal bits are boring:
- 20mph top speed [not amazing, but tolerable]
- No driver’s license or insurance requirement [Perfect]
- Anywhere you can legally ride a bike (bike lanes, roads, sidewalks) you can ride a scooter*
- No wattage or power cap [perfect]
- If you want to make a scooter* rideshare service, you have to pick them up before hurricanes and storms [not really relevant unless you plan to become the Bird of Esk8]
- Seats are an optional accessory for scooters* for all you lazy people [not super relevant]
- No riding on private property without express permission of owner [probably just a trespass catchall]
- Local governments can still impose restrictions on where scooters* can ride if they want to. [seems reasonable]
- Helmets are not mentioned at all in the bill
The big * is that the bill current stipulates that a scooter “which is designed to travel on not more than three wheels” which is a deal killer. I’m in the process of contacting my state senate rep to have them change that wording, but we’ll see how this progresses. If other Florida Esk8 folks could contact their state senators, maybe we can finally become legit.