(A) As used in this article, "Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Device" or "EPAMD" means a self-balancing two nontandem wheeled device designed to transport one person, with an electric propulsion system with average power of seven hundred fifty watts (one horsepower), whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by this propulsion system while ridden by an operator weighing one hundred seventy pounds, is less than twenty miles an hour.

(B) The operation of an EPAMD is governed by the provisions of this article. Notwithstanding another provision of law, an EPAMD is not considered a "vehicle" or "motor vehicle" within the meaning of the laws of this State and no provisions of law relating to vehicles or motor vehicles apply to an EPAMD unless specified in this article.

Terms Used In South Carolina Code 56-5-3310

  • Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
  • EPAMD: means a self-balancing two nontandem wheeled device designed to transport one person, with an electric propulsion system with average power of seven hundred fifty watts (one horsepower), whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by this propulsion system while ridden by an operator weighing one hundred seventy pounds, is less than twenty miles an hour. See South Carolina Code 56-5-3310
  • Misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
  • roadway: as used in this chapter shall refer to any such roadway separately but not to all such roadways collectively. See South Carolina Code 56-5-460

(C) A person may operate an EPAMD upon sidewalks, roadways, bicycle routes, paths, or trails as contained in this article.

(D) A person operating an EPAMD on a sidewalk, roadway, bicycle route, path, or trail shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with, and shall yield the right-of-way to, pedestrians and human powered devices. A person operating an EPAMD also shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing a pedestrian or person operating a human powered device.

(E) An EPAMD must not be operated at a speed greater than fifteen miles an hour.

(F) A person operating an EPAMD shall obey the instructions of an official traffic control device specifically applicable to him unless otherwise directed by a police officer. A person operating an EPAMD is subject to traffic and pedestrian control signals as provided in Sections 56-5-970 and 56-5-990. At all other places a person operating an EPAMD must be accorded the privileges and is subject to the restrictions contained in this article.

(G) Local authorities by ordinance may require that a person operating an EPAMD strictly comply with the directions of an official traffic control signal and by ordinance may prohibit a person operating an EPAMD from crossing a roadway in a business district or a designated highway except in a crosswalk.

(H) When traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way, slow down, or stop to yield to a person operating an EPAMD crossing a roadway within a crosswalk when the person operating the EPAMD is upon or approaching the portion of the roadway on which the vehicle is traveling. A person operating an EPAMD shall not leave a curb suddenly, or another place of safety, move into the path of a vehicle and create an immediate hazard. When a vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit an EPAMD to cross the roadway, the driver of another vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass the stopped vehicle.

(I) A person operating an EPAMD shall move, whenever practicable, upon the right portion of a crosswalk.

(J) A person operating an EPAMD while crossing a roadway at a point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway. A person operating an EPAMD crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway. Between adjacent intersections at which traffic control signals are in operation a person operating an EPAMD shall cross only at an intersection marked crosswalk. A person operating an EPAMD shall not cross a roadway intersection diagonally unless authorized by official traffic control devices. When authorized to cross a roadway diagonally, a person operating an EPAMD shall cross only in accordance with the official traffic control devices pertaining to these crossing movements.

(K) Where a sidewalk is provided and its use is practicable, it is unlawful for a person to operate an EPAMD along and upon an adjacent roadway. Where a sidewalk is not available, a person operating an EPAMD along and upon a highway shall operate only on a shoulder as far as practicable from the edge of the roadway. Where neither a sidewalk nor a shoulder is available, a person operating an EPAMD along and upon a highway shall operate it as near as practicable to an outside edge of the roadway and, if on a two-way roadway, shall operate only on the left side of the roadway. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a person operating an EPAMD upon a roadway shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.

(L) A person operating an EPAMD, unless otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer, shall not occupy a space within the limits of the roadway and shoulder of the main facility of a freeway, except to perform public works or official duties, resulting from an emergency caused by an accident or breakdown of a motor vehicle, or to obtain assistance. The prohibitions imposed by this subsection on the use of freeways do not apply to service roads alongside the highways. A person who violates the provisions contained in this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than one hundred dollars or be imprisoned for not more than thirty days.

(M) Notwithstanding a local ordinance, every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with a person operating an EPAMD and shall give an audible signal when necessary.

(N) Upon the immediate approach of an authorized emergency vehicle making use of an audible signal meeting the requirements of Section 56-5-4970 and visual signals meeting the requirements of Section 56-5-4700, or of a police vehicle properly and lawfully making use of an audible signal only, a person operating an EPAMD shall yield the right-of-way to the authorized emergency vehicle. This subsection shall not relieve the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the highway nor from the duty to exercise due care to avoid colliding with a person operating an EPAMD.

(O) An EPAMD must not be used to carry more persons than it is designed and equipped to carry.

(P) A person operating an EPAMD shall not enter or remain upon a bridge or an approach to it beyond the bridge signal, gate, or barrier after a bridge operation signal indication has been given. A person operating an EPAMD shall not pass through, around, over, or under a crossing gate or a barrier at a railroad grade crossing or bridge while the gate or barrier is closed or is being opened or closed.

(Q) An EPAMD must be equipped with a stopping mechanism which will enable the operator to bring the EPAMD to a controlled stop. A person shall not operate an EPAMD unless it is equipped with a bell or other device capable of giving a signal audible for a distance of at least one hundred feet. However, an EPAMD shall not be equipped with, nor shall a person use, a siren or whistle on an EPAMD, except as provided in subsection (R). An EPAMD when in use at nighttime must be equipped with a lamp on the front which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front and with front, rear, and side reflectors which must be visible from at least three hundred feet.

(R) An authorized police patrol EPAMD used as a part of a police EPAMD patrol may exercise the privileges of an emergency vehicle as provided in Section 56-5-760. An authorized police patrol EPAMD may be equipped with a siren. An officer utilizing a police patrol EPAMD may use his whistle or deploy the vehicle’s siren for law enforcement purposes. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 56-5-760(C), an authorized police patrol EPAMD acting as an emergency vehicle is entitled to the exemptions of an authorized emergency vehicle if it makes use of an audible signal meeting the requirements of Section 56-5-4970 or visual signals meeting the requirements of Section 56-5-4700.

(S) An operator of an EPAMD who violates a provision contained in this article, unless specified in a subsection, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than twenty-five dollars.