Everett set to pass scooter limits

EVERETT – Everett is set to become the latest city in Snohomish County to regulate motor scooters.

A proposal introduced before the City Council on Wednesday would ban scooters from sidewalks and many busy streets, require riders to wear helmets and allow police to confiscate a scooter if it is being used on city property by anyone under age 16.

The City Council is scheduled to vote on the proposal Wednesday.

“We want to enact something before we have a tragic accident,” Councilwoman Brenda Stonecipher said. “I have personally seen a number of dangerous situations around town.”

Rachel Magruder is one of a number of residents who have urged the council to regulate scooters beyond the state’s relatively lax requirements.

“I’m afraid I’m going to accidentally hit one of them,” said Magruder, 53, who regularly sees kids riding scooters for hours at a time near her Seahurst home. “Most of these kids appear to be under 12, and I just don’t think they have the skills to watch out for themselves.”

Magruder said the noise from the scooters is so deafening that she’s had a hard time hearing her television set, even with the windows closed.

The proposed ordinance bars a “continuous sound” from scooters that would “unreasonably disturb or interfere with the peace and comfort” of residents. City prosecutor Laura Van Slyck, who drafted the measure, said that would prohibit people from repeatedly riding scooters up and down the same street.

Councilwoman Marian Krell said she might introduce an amendment to require headlights on scooters when they are used at night. The current version only mandates reflectors. Even during the day, scooters can sometimes be hard for drivers to see, she said.

The ordinance would bar scooters from traveling over 15 mph. They would be prohibited from streets with a speed limit of more than 25 mph, although they would be allowed on bike lanes of any street.

If police confiscate a scooter ridden by anyone under 16, the parent or guardian would have to pay $50 to get it back.

Other cities have either enacted ordinances or are debating whether to do so. The Snohomish City Council discussed the issue Tuesday night. Lake Stevens and Stanwood are among other cities that have imposed regulations.

Reporter David Olson: 425-339-3452 or dolson@heraldnet.com.

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