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Steve Lind, Acting Director, Washington Traffic Safety Commission Pocket Bike and Motorized Foot Scooter Summit Lynn Drake Program Manager WTSC.

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Presentation on theme: "Steve Lind, Acting Director, Washington Traffic Safety Commission Pocket Bike and Motorized Foot Scooter Summit Lynn Drake Program Manager WTSC."— Presentation transcript:

1 Steve Lind, Acting Director, Washington Traffic Safety Commission Pocket Bike and Motorized Foot Scooter Summit Lynn Drake Program Manager WTSC

2 January 6, 2005Pocket Bike and Motorized Foot Scooter Summit Pocket Bikes Tiny motorcycles less than three feet long and 24 inches high. Powered by 40-49cc, two-stroke gas engines or electric motors.

3 January 6, 2005Pocket Bike and Motorized Foot Scooter Summit Pocket Bikes Capable of speeds up to 40 mph. Kits available to boost speed up to 70 mph. Designed as specialized racing motorbikes for paved, closed-circuit racing courses.

4 January 6, 2005Pocket Bike and Motorized Foot Scooter Summit Pocket Bike Issues Overview Confusion on applicable laws High concern for law enforcement Too small to be seen in traffic Marketed to children Driven by suspended licensed drivers Noise and safety concerns Nine-year-old Washington boy killed while riding pocket bike on street

5 January 6, 2005Pocket Bike and Motorized Foot Scooter Summit Applicable Laws Is it a motor-driven cycle? RCW defines motorcycle as: a motor vehicle designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, on which the driver rides astride the motor unit or power train and is designed to be steered with a handle bar, but excluding a farm tractor, a power wheelchair, an electric personal assistive mobility device, and a moped. RCW defines motor-driven cycle as follows: motorcycle, including every motor scooter, with a motor that produces not to exceed five brake horsepower (developed by a prime mover, as measured by a brake applied to the driving shaft). A motor-driven cycle does not include a moped, a power wheelchair, a motorized foot scooter, or an electric personal assistive mobility device.

6 January 6, 2005Pocket Bike and Motorized Foot Scooter Summit Applicable Laws Is it a motorized foot scooter? RCW defines motorized foot scooter as follows: a device with no more than two ten-inch or smaller diameter wheels that has handlebars, is designed to be stood or sat upon by the operator, and is powered by an internal combustion engine or electric motor that is capable of propelling the device with or without human propulsion. For purposes of this section, a motor-driven cycle, a moped, an electric-assisted bicycle, or a motorcycle is not a motorized foot scooter.”

7 January 6, 2005Pocket Bike and Motorized Foot Scooter Summit Applicable Laws Is it a motor-driven cycle? Yes! Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office Washington State Patrol Memo dated September 27, 2004 Is it a motorized foot scooter? Yes! Law enforcement officers in Spokane, Olympia, Lacey, and Thurston County have said motorized foot scooter laws apply.

8 January 6, 2005Pocket Bike and Motorized Foot Scooter Summit Off Road Vehicle Department of Licensing classifies pocket bikes as off-road vehicles (RCW 46.09) and is in the process of notifying dealers of licensing requirements.

9 January 6, 2005Pocket Bike and Motorized Foot Scooter Summit If it’s a Motor-Driven Cycle: Pocket bikes may not meet many equipment requirements, including: RCW , Requiring a minimum wheel base of 3’6” RCW , Requiring a minimum headlamp height of 24” RCW , Requiring a minimum tail lamp height of 15” RCW , Requiring two mirrors RCW , Requiring pneumatic rubber tires RCW , Requiring horns and warning devices RCW , Requiring mufflers and noise prevention measures

10 January 6, 2005Pocket Bike and Motorized Foot Scooter Summit If it’s a Motor-Driven Cycle: Pocket bikes may not be legally operated on public roads, sidewalks, bike lanes, trails, or anyplace prohibiting the use of motorized vehicles.

11 January 6, 2005Pocket Bike and Motorized Foot Scooter Summit If it’s a Motorized Foot Scooter: The pocket bikes would have the same access to roadways as bicycles according to WAC Pocket bikes could be further regulated by the local government ordinances that govern motorized foot scooters. Many of these set a minimum age for operation and restrict where the scooters are allowed, such as only allowing them on streets with speed limits of 25 mph or less.

12 January 6, 2005Pocket Bike and Motorized Foot Scooter Summit Size of Pocket Bike The miniature size of these vehicles make them a bad fit for traffic.

13 January 6, 2005Pocket Bike and Motorized Foot Scooter Summit Marketed to Children

14 January 6, 2005Pocket Bike and Motorized Foot Scooter Summit Noise and Safety Concerns Law enforcement officers state that they have received noise complaints about the gas- powered pocket bikes and complaints about the vehicles being driven by children or in an unsafe manner.

15 January 6, 2005Pocket Bike and Motorized Foot Scooter Summit Drivers with Suspended Licenses Law enforcement officers report finding pocket bike drivers choosing pocket bikes because their license has been suspended and they believe no license or registration is required. Some web site sellers encourage this belief.

16 January 6, 2005Pocket Bike and Motorized Foot Scooter Summit Motorized Foot Scooters Like a skate board with a small gas or electric motor, handlebars, a brake, and a hand operated accelerator. Speeds up to 30+ mph. Some come with bicycle- like detachable or permanent seats.

17 January 6, 2005Pocket Bike and Motorized Foot Scooter Summit Motorized Foot Scooter Issues State law does not meet Consumer Product Safety Guidelines. Patchwork of local regulations. Marketed to children. Noise and pollution complaints. 10-year-old Kennewick boy killed when scooter crossed in front of truck on 30 mph road. Injuries increasing. Motorized and foot traffic a hazardous mix.

18 January 6, 2005Pocket Bike and Motorized Foot Scooter Summit State Motorized Scooter Laws RCW Definition, motorized foot scooter "Motorized foot scooter" means a device with no more than two ten-inch or smaller diameter wheels that has handlebars, is designed to be stood or sat upon by the operator, and is powered by an internal combustion engine or electric motor that is capable of propelling the device with or without human propulsion. For purposes of this section, a motor-driven cycle, a moped, an electric-assisted bicycle, or a motorcycle is not a motorized foot scooter.”

19 January 6, 2005Pocket Bike and Motorized Foot Scooter Summit State Motorized Scooter Laws RCW Drivers license not required, Reflectors needed at night. No driver license is required to operate a motorized foot scooter. Nighttime use prohibited without reflectors.

20 January 6, 2005Pocket Bike and Motorized Foot Scooter Summit State Motorized Scooter Laws RCW Vehicle registration and licensing not required, access and access limitations. Vehicle licensing and registration requirements do not apply to motorized foot scooters. Motorized foot scooters have access to highways to the same extent as bicycles. Motorized foot scooters may not be operated on trails or bicycle paths built with federal funds. Local jurisdictions may restrict access.

21 January 6, 2005Pocket Bike and Motorized Foot Scooter Summit Local Motorized Scooter Laws

22 January 6, 2005Pocket Bike and Motorized Foot Scooter Summit Consumer Product Safety Commission CPSC recommends: Riders of motorized scooters wear a helmet, knee and elbow pads. Children under age 12 should not ride a motorized foot scooter. Scooters should not be ridden in traffic.

23 January 6, 2005Pocket Bike and Motorized Foot Scooter Summit Marketed to Children

24 January 6, 2005Pocket Bike and Motorized Foot Scooter Summit Noise and Pollution Concerns

25 January 6, 2005Pocket Bike and Motorized Foot Scooter Summit Mixing Motorized and Foot Traffic Hazardous

26 January 6, 2005Pocket Bike and Motorized Foot Scooter Summit Injuries on the Rise According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 1,330 emergency room-treated injuries related to motorized scooters in In 2000, the number of reported injuries climbed to 4,390. However, by 2002, there were 5,900 reported injuries, 40 percent involving children under age 15. The most common injuries involve broken arms, hands, and legs caused by collisions with motor vehicles.

27 January 6, 2005Pocket Bike and Motorized Foot Scooter Summit Injuries on the Rise The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is aware of at least three deaths associated with motorized scooters. Two of the deaths involved children. None were wearing a helmet.

28 January 6, 2005Pocket Bike and Motorized Foot Scooter Summit Questions? Is the current system working in this state to provide accurate and clear information on regulation and safety concerns for pocket bikes and motorized foot scooters? If not, what is needed? Do we need statewide clarification on these vehicles? Is it finally time for a statewide helmet law?

29 January 6, 2005Pocket Bike and Motorized Foot Scooter Summit Future Planning WTSC will convene a meeting between Department of Licensing, Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, Washington State Patrol, and the State Attorney General’s Office to reach agreement on statewide policies in regard to pocket bikes.


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