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California Motor Vehicle Code 21281.5

Electric Personal Mobility Devices

electric wheelchair

California Motor Vehicle Code 21281.5 allows personal mobility devices such as Rascal scooters and electric wheelchairs to operate on sidewalks and bike paths so long as pedestrians are given the right-of-way and they are operated in a safe manner.

There is no set speed limit for the operation of personal mobility devices. The driver must use common sense and good judgment to remain safe and avoid a ticket. What may be a safe speed on a slow the afternoon under dry conditions may not be a safe speed the very next day during a busy lunch rush while it's raining.

Local authorities will not tolerate wheelchair operators who show a general disregard for public safety. Anyone operating a mobility device in a manner that is unsafe to persons, animals, or property will be ticketed and fined. Horseplay, driving too fast for the conditions, and not yielding to pedestrians and service animals could all be viewed as a general disregard for public safety. You may also be ticketed for driving your mobility device under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

When riding on a mobility device, you must yield to all pedestrians on foot, other disability assistance devices and service animals that may be in your path. Common courtesy is expected when you are riding on public sidewalks and pathways.

A good rule-of-thumb is to yield the right-of-way to anyone who is traveling at speeds slower than your mobility unit is moving. Being a courteous and considerate operator on public sidewalks, bike paths, and trails will help keep everyone safe.

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