Scooter restrictions set

  • Brooke Fisher<br>Enterprise editor
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 6:43am

SHORELINE — The Shoreline City Council adopted a motorized scooter ordinance, saying they felt inclined to do so after state legislators did not address the issue.

Mayor Ron Hansen was disappointed that the state did not pass an ordinance, saying it may now be difficult for cities to enforce individual ordinances.

“We are talking about 320 jurisdictions,” Hansen said. “It is not reasonable to expect citizens to know the rules.”

The ordinance was approved at the June 20 meeting, enacting several tenets:

• Riders are prohibited from riding between sunset and sunrise during the summer and between 8 p.m. and sunrise in the winter.

• Riders are prohibited from riding on sidewalks, with the exception of electric-powered motorized foot scooters and all devices are banned from being ridden on streets with speed limits greater than 25 mph.

• A minimum age of 15 years old is established for gas-powered motorized foot scooters and 13 for electric-powered ones.

• Helmets are required, as well as a properly working muffler and braking system.

The Council reviewed the topic of regulating motorized foot scooters in the fall, and staff eventually determined that scooter complaints had decreased and recommended that the city not pursue additional regulation. Council members, however, indicated they would like an ordinance for the city.

Bernard Seeger, city analyst, said this was the third meeting with the City Council to discuss the topic. The first meeting was a presentation of state law and regulations passed by other cities and what types of complaints have been received in the city.

Penalties included in the ordinance specify that violations by people older than 16 will be similar to a traffic infraction, and for riders under the age of 16, there are special rules.

Deputy mayor Scott Jepsen was also disappointed that the Council had to address the issue, saying the legislature should have regulated scooters.

“This sends the wrong message that we have to address this on a city-by-city basis,” Jepsen said.

Council member Fimia wanted to ban all gas scooters and address the issue of unnecessary noise from scooters.

“With no license plate to track them, unless a police officer is posted they (violators) will be difficult to catch,” Fimia said.

Jepsen said the issue of noise is broader, and one that is addressed in the city’s noise ordinance.

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