In an average year, Richmond County has between twenty and thirty traffic deaths. These statistics include roughly two fatal motorcycle accidents, six fatal pedestrian accidents, and one fatal bicycle accident every year. A handful of motor scooter riders may also suffer injuries or deaths in the county every year.

Here is a guide to motor scooter safety in Augusta.

Motor Scooters, Mopeds, and E-Scooters

Georgia law explains how police and the Georgia Motor Vehicle Department regulate two-wheeled vehicles.

Motorcycles include all vehicles that run on two wheels and have a seat. Mopeds include all vehicles that run on two wheels with a motor of two horsepower or less. Motor-driven cycles include all motorcycles with an engine of five horsepower or less, along with all mopeds.

Georgia law does not set out a definition for motor scooters or e-scooters. But these vehicles fit into the definition of a moped. Accordingly, Georgia regulates motor scooters and e-scooters as mopeds and motor-driven cycles.

Safety Laws that Apply to Motor Scooters

Motor scooter and e-scooter riders must follow all traffic laws. Georgia also sets out some additional requirements for motor scooter operators.

Safety Equipment

Motor scooters and e-scooters do not need to have headlights or tail lights. But riders must wear a helmet. The helmet must meet the U.S. Department of Transportation standards for motorcycle helmets. Georgia does not exempt any riders from the helmet requirement.

Moped riders do not need to wear eye protection, and mopeds do not need to have a windshield.

Public Roads

Riders under the age of 15 cannot use motor scooters or e-scooters on public roads. Local authorities can also restrict the use of motor scooters and e-scooters on certain roads in the interest of public safety.

Licensing

You must have a driver’s license, instruction permit, or limited permit to operate a motor scooter or e-scooter on public roads. But you do not need to have a motorcycle license to drive a motor scooter or e-scooter. A regular Class C driver’s license is sufficient. Moreover, motor scooters do not need a license plate.

Safety Risks for Scooter Operators

Motor scooters and e-scooters face many safety risks. Operating a scooter safely means keeping these risks in mind.

Visibility

Motor scooters and e-scooters are small vehicles. A driver can easily overlook a motor scooter or e-scooter when turning, changing lanes, or reversing. You should always stay alert to other vehicles. You should also avoid any distractions or devices like earbuds.

Speed

By law, motor scooters and e-scooters cannot travel faster than 30 miles per hour. Impatient drivers may tailgate you. This creates a serious risk of a rear-end collision.

Drivers may become aggressive if they feel that you are impeding traffic. You should try to avoid crowded streets and heavy traffic to minimize the risk of road rage.

Exposure

Like pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists, you have nothing to protect you in an accident. If a vehicle hits your motor scooter or e-scooter, you could suffer a serious injury in the collision and again when you hit the pavement.

While riding, you should wear protective clothing, like long pants and a riding jacket, along with a helmet.

How Safe are Motor Scooters in Augusta?

Motor scooters are about as safe as bicycles and motorcycles. However, motor scooters, mopeds, motorcycles, and e-scooters are 29 times more likely to get into an accident than a passenger vehicle. 

Anytime you ride a motor scooter or e-scooter in Augusta, ride carefully and take all reasonable safety precautions.