Electric Scooter Regulations

scoot smart

Electric scooters, or e-scooters, are a new and popular transportation option on campus. For us to fully benefit from this technology, we must operate e-scooters safely and know how to store them properly. The following e-scooter regulations have been implemented for the safety of pedestrians, e-scooter riders, cyclists, people with disabilities and all others who traverse our campus. 

Electric Scooter User

Maryland State Law now regulates e-scooters under the same code that regulates standard bicycles. This means that e-scooters must be operated on the road and follow all traffic laws. These laws include, but are not limited to, stopping at stop signs, obeying traffic signals, riding in the direction of traffic, the prohibited wearing of headsets or earplugs in both ears, and yielding to other vehicles and pedestrians.

E-scooters may not be operated:

  • On sidewalks or in crosswalks. Stick to low-traffic and low-speed areas and use bike lanes when possible. Exercise caution if it is necessary to cross or briefly travel on a busy road. If a sidewalk or crosswalk must be used to reach your destination, step off your e-scooter and walk. Pedestrians are unpredictable and vulnerable on sidewalks, and may not be able to anticipate an oncoming e-scooter.
     

  • Within campus parking garages. Garage structural elements can reduce driver visibility, making it a challenge for motorists to anticipate oncoming e-scooters.
     

  • While the user is impaired.
     

  • In an unsafe manner. This includes wearing earbuds or headphones while riding, acrobatic riding, distracted riding or more than one rider per vehicle.

E-scooters may not be brought onto Shuttle-UM buses, unless they are foldable. 

The University of Maryland Police Department enforces all traffic laws in accordance with the Maryland Transportation Article. As a result, you could be issued a ticket that includes a fine and the possibility of points added to you driver’s license. Learn more about the Maryland Transportation Article.

All e-scooters must be parked in designated electric scooter parking areas or at bike racks. Improperly parked e-scooters are subject to relocation to approved parking areas and/or impounding by university personnel. Relocation, impound, and/or storage fees may apply. DOTS is responsible for enforcing e-scooter parking regulations.

E-scooters may not be parked in any location that is not designated e-scooter parking. This includes:

  • In an area where signs are posted indicating that e-scooter parking is prohibited 

  • At any entrance to or exit from any building

  • On any roadway, street, alley, sidewalk, mall, patio, parking area or lot, or bicycle path, unless otherwise designated

  • On any landscaped area 

  • So as to interfere with or impede the normal movement of disabled persons, pedestrians, or bicyclists upon ramps, stairways, or curb cuts 

  • Adjacent to or chained, locked, or attached to any handrail, tree, bush, door, signpost, lamp, telephone pole, lamppost, fence, or other object not maintained or designated for the purpose of securing e-scooters

  • In any building lobby, hallway, stairwell or room (including in residence halls and campus apartments) 

  • At any designated electric scooter parking area between the end of spring semester and the beginning of fall semester, unless (i) the owner is present on campus and using the vehicle or (ii) the e-scooter is a rental unit provided by a third-party micromobility vendor.

E-scooter racks will soon be installed in e-scooter parking areas for securing personally owned e-scooters.

Examples of proper e-scooter parking:

Examples of improper e-scooter parking:

E-scooters found parked in violation of parking regulations may be relocated or impounded by designated university personnel. Any locks used to secure an improperly parked e-scooter may be removed and possibly damaged by university personnel while using any reasonable measures necessary to relocate the e-scooter. The university shall not be liable for the cost of repair or replacement of locking devices. 

For E-scooters Owned by Third Parties

E-scooters owned by third parties will be relocated to a nearby designated e-scooter parking area and can be located via the third party’s e-scooter mobile app. A relocation fee shall be charged to the e-scooter’s corporate owner upon relocation to a designated e-scooter parking area. Relocation fees may be passed on from the corporate owner to the e-scooter user. 

For Personally Owned E-Scooters

Personally owned e-scooters will not be relocated if found parked improperly. They will instead be impounded by university personnel and must be picked up at the DOTS office in Regents Drive Garage. Impound and storage fees will apply.

ELECTRIC SCOOTER SAFETY

ARE YOU SCOOTING SAFELY?

E-scooter technology may be provided to you by a third-party vendor. It is not being provided by the University of Maryland. Your use of this technology comes with certain risks, and you maybe asked to confirm an agreement between you and the device provider in which you assume those risks.

Adhere to the e-scooter operation and parking regulations and follow these tips to protect yourself and others.  

Know how to operate your e-scooter.
If you are a first-time rider or are unfamiliar with how your e-scooter operates, review the operation and safety information provided by your scooter’s operating company.  VeoRide is the bike and e-scooter operating company that has partnered with the university, the City of College Park, and the Town of University Park. If you are using another e-scooter provider or if you have purchased your own e-scooter, review the instructions before hitting the road. 

We recommend test driving your vehicle at a slow speed in a low-traffic, controlled environment. DOTS offers e-scooter safety tutorials and test drives. Contact us at bike@umd.edu to schedule one for yourself and your friends. 

Ride on the road.
Stick to low-traffic and low-speed areas and use bike lanes when possible. Exercise caution if it is necessary to cross or briefly travel on a busy road. If a sidewalk is the only way to reach your destination, step off your e-scooter and walk. Pedestrians are unpredictable and vulnerable on sidewalks, and may not be able to anticipate an oncoming scooter.

Follow the rules of the road.
Maryland State Law now regulates e-scooters under the same code that regulates standard bicycles. This means that e-scooter riders must be operated on the road and follow all traffic laws. These laws include, but are not limited to, stopping at stop signs, obeying traffic signals, riding in the direction of traffic, and  yielding to other vehicles and pedestrians.

moving violations

The UMD Police Department is responsible for enforcing e-scooter moving violations. The e-scooter operator is responsible for all traffic citations.

Always yield to pedestrians.
They normally have the right of way. 

Wear a helmet.
Helmets are available for a discounted price at the DOTS office in Regents Drive Garage. We also host many helmet giveaway events throughout the year. Consider wearing additional protective gear, such as wrist guards, elbow pads and knee pads. 

Do not wear earbuds or headphones while operating an e-scooter.
Earbuds and headphones are a distraction that prevent you from anticipating other vehicles and pedestrians.  

No more than one person at a time should operate an e-scooter.
E-scooters are not intended for more than one rider. 

Keep your eyes on the road and both hands on the handlebars at all times.
You need two hands to maintain control of your e-scooter. Don’t text and drive. Refrain from carrying packages or other items that obstruct your view, prevent you from keeping two hands on the handlebars, or prevent you from maintaining your balance. 

Stay alert at all times.
Don’t put yourself or others at risk of a collision by operating your e-scooter—or any other vehicle—while distracted. With a high volume of pedestrians and many types of vehicles on our campus roads, we must look out for each other as we traverse our campus. 

Examples of safe and unsafe riding practices: