ST. GEORGE – On the heels of the holiday season, the St. George Police Department issued a warning Friday for parents who gave motorized scooters as gifts this past month and for anyone whose child rides a motorized scooter.
“A popular gift for children, teens, and even adults are motorized scooters,” a press release from the St. George Police Department said. “Our officers have seen an increase in the use of these vehicles so we wanted to remind everyone of the laws in place regulating these scooters. There are some misunderstandings out there about what is legal and what is not.”
A St. George Police officer was recently patrolling a neighborhood and saw two children riding a motorized scooter, the press release said. The child driving the scooter was weaving in and out of the roadway and running stop signs without regard to traffic and without making any effort to check for oncoming cars.
“The two on the scooter nearly collided with a truck pulling a trailer,” the press release said.
Shortly after that, the same officer saw another child riding in a roadway on a stand-up motorized scooter. In both instances, the press release said, there were no adults present, and the children on the scooters were not wearing helmets or protective pads.
According to the press release:
Every officer will tell you what a tragic situation it is to respond to an accident involving a child. In October of last year St. George Officers along with LifeFlight responded to the Little Valley area on a two year old child who was run over by a truck, thankfully this child survived. Our hopes are that by understanding the laws and taking the appropriate safety measures we can minimize these accidents.
The St. George Police Department offered the following information regarding proper use of scooters.
The types of scooters that do not have to be registered, according to the press release, are motor-assisted scooters, electric bicycles and personal motorized mobility devices.
- Motor-assisted scooters: A motor-assisted scooter has a deck or a deck and a seat; is capable of being operated under human power alone; and has a small engine – less than 40 cubic centimeters. These are essentially skateboards and scooters with small engines. These scooters cannot be operated on any street with four or more lanes and cannot be driven at speeds greater than 25 mph, according to the press release. No registration or driver’s license is needed with this type of scooter; however, if the operator is younger than 15 years old, the child must be under the direct supervision of a parent while riding the scooter.
- Personal motorized mobility devices: These are Segway-type personal transporters with two side-by-side wheels. No registration or driver’s license is required to operate one of these devices.
According to Utah law, no one under the age of 18 may operate or ride on a motorcycle or “motor-driven cycle” on any highway unless the person is wearing an approved helmet. In addition to helmets, other safety equipment is highly recommended, the press release said.
“We encourage all scooter enthusiasts to learn the proper use and operation of your scooter before riding it and also learn and abide by the laws,” the release said. “By so doing you will reduce the risk of and potential of being involved in an incident.”
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