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PENNSYLVANIA Motorized scooters illegal to ride on streets



Published: Sat, June 23, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Some dealers are apparently telling buyers that the machines are legal.

By HAROLD GWIN

VINDICATOR SHARON BUREAU

SHARON, Pa. -- Those motorized scooters that have become so popular with young people have a serious drawback -- they're not legal to ride on Pennsylvania streets and roads.

"They are totally not street legal," said Police Chief Raymond Greene whose department has been getting a number of calls complaining about the speedy little scooters.

The Department of Transportation has determined that these are motor vehicles and, as such, must be licensed and have a legal title and state registration; the people who ride them must have proof of insurance and, most importantly, must have an operators' license, Greene said.

Even if the scooters could meet those requirements, they won't get a state license anyway, said Capt. Michael Menster.

PennDOT regards the scooters as nonconforming vehicles that don't fit any current vehicular classifications in the law, he said.

The scooters also are not street legal in Ohio, said an Ohio State Highway Patrol spokesman.

Even regular scooters, the kind you push with one foot, aren't allowed on sidewalks in the downtown business district, the chief said, noting that bicycles, in-line skates and skateboards aren't allowed in the business district, either.

Phone calls: Greene said he has been getting phone calls from some parents after their children have been stopped with the motorized scooters.

They say that dealers selling the units, some of which can cost up to $600, tell them that the scooters are legal, the chief said.

They may be legal in someone's driveway or yard but they aren't legal on the street and those who ride them are facing the possibility of being cited and their scooter confiscated, Greene said.

Police said parents need to use a little common sense before putting their children on any type of scooter without safety protection. Some of the motorized versions can reach speeds of 20 mph.

Greene said police confiscated one motorized unit Tuesday that ran down a sidewalk and into the side of a car.

The scooter operator was an 8-year-old Hermitage boy who wasn't wearing a helmet, Greene said, noting the child wasn't seriously injured.

gwin@vindy.com




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