Archive for Thursday, March 31, 2005

Chief reminds public about scooter law

March 31, 2005

The onset of spring and the promise of warmer temperatures are prompting the Lansing Police Department to issue a reminder for people who own motorized, unlicensed scooters and similar play toys:

Their use is pretty much restricted to private property.

"Basically, if anybody has these things, the only place they can drive them is in their driveway," said Police Chief Steve Wayman. "They can't drive them on city sidewalks, on city streets, nothing."

Wayman admits to the scooters' popularity among the younger set - "Heck, if I were a kid, I'd want to have one" - but said police patrol officers would defer to city ordinance.

"You can't take them to a city park and ride them in a city park : no public parking lot or property owned by the city of Lansing," he said of unlicensed, motorized vehicles. "The school district doesn't want them on school property."

The reason for the restrictions isn't to fatten the city's treasury, even though violation of the ordinance carries with it a minimum fine of $100.

Instead, Wayman said, it's safety. Because of the size of the scooters, they are sometimes difficult for a car or truck driver to see.

"It's just going to take that one incident where there's contact made between a car and a scooter, and the car's going to win because it's bigger and heavier," he said. "I just don't want to get to that point."

Wayman urged parents to assist in policing their children in the use of gas- or electric-powered scooters, bikes and the like.

"The city has ordinances against them, but a lot of it also is up to the parents to be knowledgeable about it. If they have questions, they can call the Police Department," he said.

The restriction, Wayman said, extended to golf carts.

"That sounds strange," he said. "People don't realize: If you can't license something, can't get insurance on it and it has a motor, you can't drive it on a city street."

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