Everyone knows that drivers have certain rules they must follow. Pedestrians, motorcyclists, and even bicyclists do as well. What about scooters, though? With these vehicles sharing the road, and the sidewalks, with pedestrians and motor vehicles, what laws do they need to adhere to? Currently, not a lot, but that may be changing. Representative John Torbett of Gaston County is going to introduce a bill that would make North Carolina’s roads safer from scooters.
Torbett is not the first to consider imposing legislation on scooters. In the past it has been suggested that scooters should be considered motor vehicles. As such, they would be subject to license plates and motor vehicle registration fees. Torbett though, thinks that may be going a little bit too far.
Instead, he thinks North Carolina should consider classifying scooters the same as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) does. Under that definition, a scooter would only be considered a motor vehicle if it was able to travel over speeds of 20 miles per hour. In addition, any scooter that requires the operator to stand while using it would also not be considered a motor vehicle.
Torbett would like to see new legislation pertaining to where scooters can be driven, and certain traffic rules they would have to follow. However, he said that individual cities would be responsible for creating regulations on other matters, such as where scooters could be parked.
“It only makes sense to impose regulations on scooters, particularly those traveling at speeds similar to motor vehicles,” says Ben Whitley of Whitley Law Firm. “A pedestrian or bicyclist can be seriously injured if they get into an accident with a scooter being driven at high speeds.”
Currently, there are only nine states in the country that require a scooter operator to carry a license. In addition, there are only a dozen states that do not require scooters to be registered within their state, nor do they require operators to wear a helmet while driving. Hopefully this news coming out of North Carolina will have legislators throughout the nation considering tightening the regulations on these vehicles that can be just as dangerous as motor vehicles.
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