Motorized Scooters - Legal or Not?
- Updated on Tuesday, October 2, 2012, 7:33 pm
Before we know it the rain will be gone and the sun will return. This means more outdoor activities. One of the new outdoor toys for adults and children is motorized scooters. The Albany Police Department has received an increased number of calls regarding laws that pertain to these vehicles.
"Motor assisted scooter" pertains to a vehicle that:
• Is designed to be operated on the ground with not more than three wheels;
• Has handlebars and a foot support or seat for the operator's use;
• Can be propelled by motor or human propulsion; and
• Is equipped with a power source that is incapable of propelling the vehicle at a speed of greater than 24 miles per hour on level ground and:
• If the power source is a combustion engine, has a piston or rotor displacement of 35 cubic centimeters or less regardless of the number of chambers in the power source; or
• If the power source is electric, has a power output of not more than 1,000 watts.
• If the motorized scooter has a combustion engine greater than 35 cubic centimeters then it becomes a "moped" and a separate set of laws apply, including it must have a seat or saddle and the rider must wear a motorcycle approved helmet.
Most parents have not checked the law to see if their child can legally ride a motorized scooter. Oregon law allows only persons sixteen years or older to ride a motorized scooter on a public roadway. Anyone riding a motorized scooter on a public roadway must wear a helmet approved for bicycle riding (American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Snell, or United States Department of Transportation (DOT)). Similar to many after market accessories and equipment sold for vehicles, not all motorized scooters are legal for the Oregon roadways. Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) regarding motorized scooter use are:
• The scooter may not be ridden on sidewalks. (ORS 814.524)
• Must be ridden in bicycle lanes where available. (ORS 814.514)
• Use is limited to streets posted at 25 MPH and under or in a bike lane. (ORS 814.518)
• May not carry passengers. (ORS 814.530)
• An operator of a motor assisted scooter upon a public way is subject to the provisions applicable to, and has the same rights and duties as the operator of, any other vehicle operating on highways. Including, they must have approved lighting and reflectors if riding at night. (ORS 814.510)
• May not exceed 15 mph at any time. (ORS 814.512)
• However, many electric and gas powered scooters are capable of exceeding 15 MPH.
• Scooter operators may not be under 16 years old. (ORS 814.512)
• A parent may be cited for allowing the unlawful use of a motorized scooter. (ORS 814.536)
This year the law has changed for roller blades, non-motorized scooters and skateboards. Most parents know that every child under the age of sixteen must wear an approved helmet when riding a bicycle. Effective January 1, 2004, that law will extend to those children under sixteen who use roller blades, non-motorized scooters, and skateboards, as well as bicycles. If a child is under twelve years of age, the law allows for the parent or guardian to be cited if the child is in violation. If the child is between twelve and fifteen years of age, either the parent or child may be cited.
Helmets save lives and reduces the extent of injuries for those who are involved in crashes. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), of all motorized scooter related deaths in 2001, none of the operators were wearing protective head gear. The CPSC reported there were 4,390 total injuries in 2000 associated with motorized scooters. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has begun tracking motorized scooter related data in 2003. Results should be known by spring 2004. The Albany Police Department encourages everyone to wear protective gear and an approved helmet when operating motorized and non-motorized transportation on the public roadways. For more information or questions please contact the Albany Police Department Community Resource Unit at 541-917-7680.
Translate this page: