Bicycle and Skateboard Laws

By | January 4, 2015

The Department of Public Safety, in partnership with the Charleston Police Department and city officials, has been working diligently to raise awareness of bicycle and skateboard laws and ordinances. During the fall semester, the Department took many steps to help educate the public on the various ordinances and the stricter enforcement of them. As part of this educational campaign, information on bicycles and skateboards has been covered in all of the new student orientation sessions, handouts were given to those who registered bicycles, a preliminary email was sent out to all students, faculty, and staff, officers have been issuing warning citations, and similar messages have been posted to social media.

Beginning January 1, 2015, Public Safety Officers will begin issuing citations to bicyclists and skateboarders violating the City of Charleston’s bicycle and skateboard regulations. This includes: riding on a sidewalk, traveling the wrong way down a one way street,  disregarding traffic control devices, etc. As a reminder, bicyclists and skateboarders should ride with the flow of traffic, and obey all traffic signs and signals. Please review the ordinances relating to bicycles and skateboards below:

 

Sec. 19-121 Traffic laws apply to persons riding bicycles.

Every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by the laws of this state declaring rules of the road applicable to vehicles or by the traffic regulations of this city applicable to the driver of a vehicle, except as to special regulations in this article and except as to those provisions of laws and regulations which by their nature can have no application.

 

Sec. 19-122. – Obedience to traffic control devices.

(a) Any person operating a bicycle shall obey the instructions of official traffic control signals, signs and other control devices applicable to vehicles, unless otherwise directed by a police officer.

(b) Whenever authorized signs are erected indicating that no right or left or U-turn is permitted, no person operating a bicycle shall disobey the direction of any such sign, except where such person dismounts from the bicycle to make any such turn, in which event such person shall then obey the regulations applicable to pedestrians.

 

Sec. 19-125. – Riding on sidewalks.

(a)No person shall ride or operate a bicycle upon any sidewalk in the city except:

(1)Children the age of twelve (12) and under may ride a bicycle having a wheel diameter of twenty-four (24) inches or less on any sidewalk except as otherwise herein prohibited.

(2)Where the sidewalk is designated by the traffic and transportation department as a shared-use path measuring at least eight (8) feet in width.

(3)Where the adjacent highway has a posted speed limit of thirty-five (35) miles per hour or more, adults and children may ride a bicycle on the adjacent sidewalk except as otherwise herein prohibited or if there is a dedicated bicycle lane on the adjacent highway.

(b)Unless designated otherwise, go upon any sidewalk in a school overlay zone or in commercially zoned area on the peninsula as delineated on the zoning map of the city and as the zoning map may hereafter be amended by the ordinances of the city.

(c)Bicycles shall not be operated in a reckless manner. Any person permitted in the above subsections to ride or operate a bicycle on a sidewalk shall at all times ride or operate the bicycle with due care and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians using the sidewalk.

(d)Where permitted on sidewalks, bicycles shall not be ridden or operated in a manner which causes damage to public or private property.

(e)A person riding a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle as provided for by state law. The provisions of this section shall not diminish, detract from, or change state law regarding a bicyclist’s right to use all roadways in the city as permitted by state law.

(f)A police or code enforcement officer may operate a bicycle on the sidewalk when in the course and scope of their duties they determine in good faith that riding or operating a bicycle on the sidewalk is necessary to perform their official duties.

(g)No person shall ride or operate a motorized bicycle, a rickshaw, a pedicab, or similar device upon a sidewalk or a shared-use path.

(h)Any person violating this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction, shall be subject to a maximum fine of fifty dollars ($50.00).

 

Sec. 19-91. – Regulation of use of roller skates, in-line skates, toy scooters, coasters and motorized toy vehicles.

(a)It shall be unlawful for any person upon roller skates, in-line skates, or any coaster, toy scooter, motorized toy vehicle or other similar device to:

(1)Go upon any roadway designed for vehicular traffic posted more than twenty-five (25) miles per hour except while crossing a street at a crosswalk;

(2)Use these devices in a city-owned or leased parking garage or surface lot;

(3)Unless designated otherwise, use these devices upon a city-owned or leased athletic field or tennis court;

(4)Unless designated otherwise, go upon any sidewalk or roadway in a school overlay zone or in a commercially zoned area on the peninsula as delineated on the zoning map of the city and as the zoning map may hereafter be amended by the ordinances of the city;

(5)Use these devices in a reckless manner. Persons operating these devices on a sidewalk shall exercise due care for the safety of others using the sidewalk and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians; or

(6)Operate these devices in a manner which causes damage to public or private property.

(b)For purposes of this section a motorized toy vehicle shall mean any toy vehicle which is powered by a twelve-volt battery and when operated at full throttle does not exceed fifteen (15) miles per hour. Any scooter, motorized toy vehicle, coaster, or other similar device which can be operated at a speed greater than fifteen (15) miles per hour shall not be operated on a public sidewalk.

(c)Any person violating this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction, shall be subject to a maximum fine of fifty dollars ($50.00).

 

 

Sec. 19-92. – Skateboard regulations on the peninsula.

(a)The city shall create a committee containing community and neighborhood representatives affected by this section to study, review, and comment on this and any future skateboard ordinance amendments.

(b)The provisions of this section are applicable to the use of skateboards within the municipal limits of the city.

(c)Every person riding a skateboard upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by the laws of this state declaring rules of the road applicable to vehicles or by the traffic regulations of this city applicable to the driver of a vehicle, except as to special regulations in this section and except as to those provisions of laws and regulations which by their nature can have no application.

(d)Every skateboarder operating a skateboard upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable. A skateboarder may, but is not required to, ride on the shoulder of the roadway in order to comply with the requirements of this subsection. A skateboarder may ride in a lane other than the right-hand lane if only one (1) lane is available that permits the skateboarder to continue on his intended route.

(e)A driver of a motor vehicle must at all times maintain a safe operating distance between the motor vehicle and a skateboard.

(f)A skateboard may not be used to carry more persons than the number for which it is designed and equipped.

(g)Footwear shall be worn at all times while operating a skateboard.

(h)A person may not operate a skateboard while intoxicated or consuming alcohol.

(i)It is unlawful to harass, taunt, or maliciously throw an object at or in the direction of any person riding a skateboard.

(j)A person riding upon a skateboard may not attach it or himself to a vehicle, or any device which is used or may be used for propulsion.

(k)Skateboarders must be visible from both a minimum distance of five hundred (500) feet and a height of at least three (3) feet through the use of reflective clothing, lights, or other visible gear.

(l)Hand signals. A skateboarder shall indicate a right turn by extending the left arm upward, by raising the left arm to the square. A skateboarder shall indicate a left turn by extending the left arm horizontally. A skateboarder shall indicate stopping or decreasing speed by extending the left arm or the right arm downward.

(m)A skateboarder must be able to brake within a five-foot stopping distance.

(n)It shall be unlawful for any person upon a skateboard or other similar device to:

(1)Use these devices in a city-owned or leased parking garage or surface lot;

(2)Unless designated otherwise, use these devices upon a city-owned or leased athletic field or tennis court; or

(3)Operate these devices in a manner which causes damage to public or private property.

(o)The use of skateboards is prohibited on the streets and sidewalks identified on Exhibit A to Ordinance No. 2014-43 which is set out below.

 

 

The break down for the fine as mandated by State Law is as follows:

  1. Mandated State Assessment on fines is: 107.5% on fines (107.5 x $50 = $53.75)
  2. Mandated Law Enforcement Fee is: $25.00
  3. Mandated Criminal Justice Academy Fee is: $5.00
  4. $53.75 + $50 + $25.00 + $5 = $133.75

The City of Charleston Municipal Court always rounds down to lowest whole dollar amount; accordingly the total fine is $133.00

 

skateboard

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2 thoughts on “Bicycle and Skateboard Laws

  1. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith here the law requires all persons under the age of 18 to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle, a non-motorized scooter, a skateboard, or while wearing in-line skates or roller skates.

    Reply
  2. Baldguy

    Wow. Skateboarding has law!!! It was great to know. I can be more careful because i know the laws. Thanks a lot. can i post it on my blog for public awareness? here is it: https://www.skatereview.com/

    Reply

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