Scooter Laws in Colorado
1. Colorado law draws a distinction between low-power scooters and scooters that are over 50cc
If your scooter is 50cc or less, then you have a low-power scooter.
· You do not need a motorcycle endorsement to drive a “low-power scooter”, you only need a valid driver’s license.
· You are allowed to ride it in a bike lane.
· You are not allowed on interstates, unless that interstate has a bike lane. If the interstate has a bike lane, then you are able to ride in the bike lane.
· Registering a “low-power scooter” is much easier than registering a car or motorcycle:
o The registration lasts for three years instead of one year
o The registration fees are firmly set at $5.85 (as of July 2021)
o You do not need an emissions test
If your scooter is over 50cc, then it meets the definition of a motorcycle.
· You will need a motorcycle endorsement to drive a scooter that is over 50cc.
· Although you cannot drive in bike lanes, you can drive on interstates.
· Registering a scooter that is over 50cc is much like registering a car, except you do not need to get an emissions test: you will need to update your registration yearly and pay the applicable fees.
2. In order to register your scooter, you will need insurance that meets the minimum limits required in Colorado
In the state of Colorado, the legislature sets forth the minimum amount of insurance you must have in order to driver any type of vehicle, including “low-power scooters” and motorcycles.
Currently the minimum limits are:
· $25,000 for bodily injury per person,
· $50,000 for bodily injury per accident, and
· $15,000 in property damage.
However, these minimum limits are very low and experienced personal injury attorneys always recommend that you get higher limits. Check out Wade’s blog post titled 'What Does Full Coverage Mean?' to learn more about insurance limits and what you can do to protect yourself in case of a motor vehicle collision.
3. If you are over 18 years of age, helmets are optional in the State of Colorado
For both 50cc scooters and scooters over 50cc you do not have to wear a helmet UNLESS you are under the age of 18.
If you are under 18, you must wear a helmet regardless of whether you are the driver or passenger.
· The helmet must meet the standards of United States Department of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218, 49 CFR 571.218.
· To make sure you get a helmet that meets these standards, always buy from a reputable dealer and make sure the helmet has:
o a label with the symbol “DOT”;
o the term “FMVSS No. 218”;
o the word “CERTIFIED”; and
o the precise model designation, and the manufacturers, name and/or brand.
4. Always be aware of your surroundings when riding a Scooter
Unlike motorcycles, scooters do not have very loud exhausts that can warn people that you are around. Scooters are generally very quiet which means other motorists may not always realize you are around them.
Colorado Law requires that scooters ride as close to the right side of the roadway as possible, but that does not mean other motorists will see you. Below are a few ways you can stay safe while riding a scooter:
1. If possible, ride with another person so that you can ride two abreast in the lane. Although you cannot ride three abreast, having two riders next to each other will increase the chances that other motorists will see you and the person you are riding with.
2. Do your best to not ride in a car’s blind spots. Ride in front or behind a vehicle, instead of to the side of it. Although drivers of large vehicles should do their best to not have blind spots (adjust mirrors, check around them before changing lanes, etc.), not everyone does their due diligence. Riding in a cars blind spots can be disastrous if the driver changes lanes without thoroughly checking for other drivers
3. Do not lane-split. Lane splitting is illegal in Colorado, but that does not mean everyone follows the laws. Never lane split as there are many drivers that do not thoroughly check their mirrors or use their turn signals before changing lanes. If you are lane-splitting a driver hits you, it will be your fault!
Riding a scooter can lead to many benefits: less gas, easier parking, and easier registration. However, riding a scooter also means that you are not protected by a large metal frame if you are in an accident. If you are involved in a collision while riding your scooter, give Wade H. Eldridge, P.C. a call. Wade has been representing individuals involved in motor vehicle crashes since 1975 and knows how to handle insurance companies to get the largest settlement possible for his clients. We always offer initial consultations free of charge and never use these consultations to push you into hiring us. We are confident that we will earn your business by showing you how much we can do for you!