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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Spring Wheels—A Guest Blog by LMC Research Manager Jeanette Behr


In your city, do spring showers bring out a bevy of golf carts? A whole host of new low-powered vehicles—from mini-trucks to electric bicycles—are growing in popularity. City councils may decide to regulate some of these vehicles on city streets, like golf carts, mini trucks, utility task vehicles, and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).

If a city does not permit the use of these “special vehicles,” then they are not allowed on city streets. Running them around on private land is not something the city can regulate (unless the noise is an issue), but that is for another blog.

Hold your horses, though—not all low-powered vehicles are subject to city regulation! Cities cannot prohibit motorized foot scooters (like Razor™), pocket bikes, mini-motorcycles, motorized bicycles and electric assisted bicycles, or mopeds. These fun wheels are governed by state law and are subject to just limited city regulation.

And some devices used by pedestrians are not subject to much regulation. Examples include Segways, manual or motorized wheelchairs, scooters, tricycles, or similar devices used by people with disabilities as a substitute for walking. State law limits the use of these vehicles on sidewalks unless the rider is crossing the street.

For miles of information on how our city may deal with these new-fangled rides (have you seen an autocycle—basically a Batmobile?), see the LMC memo Specialty Vehicles Operating on City Streets.

This memo contains an appendix with definitions and a chart that displays types of vehicles, operator requirements, regulatory authority, and statutory citations.

Up next:  A report from the 2017 Spring Loss Control Workshops

Stay safe,
Rob

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