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Grandview Council opts to back off on scooter restrictions

GRANDVIEW - What started out the night as a fairly restrictive motorized scooter ordinance that would have banned anyone without a driver's license from driving the vehicles and would have prohibited the scooters from being driven on downtown streets, may end up making Grandview one of the more scooter friendly towns in the Valley.

After listening to several parents in attendance at the meeting, council members sent City Attorney Jack Maxwell back to the drawing board, again. The council has looked at the scooter ordinance during several of its past meetings.

The ordinance council members had set in front of them Monday night required motorized scooter operators to follow the rules of the road, restricted the vehicles from being operated in the downtown business district, as well as in parks, on sidewalks and on streets with a posted speed limit of more than 25 miles per hour. It also banned scooters from being operated on several main arterial streets, including Wine Country and Euclid roads, as well as Second and Fifth streets. The ordinance also required scooter riders to have a valid driver's license, therefore putting an age limit on who can operate the vehicles. The ordinance required riders to wear a helmet, and have their vehicle equipped with lights and reflectors. The proposed ordinance also required scooters to have brakes and mufflers.

Two of the parents who attended the meeting had children who are not old enough to have a driver's license, but whom the parents feel are responsible enough to be trusted on the scooters.

John Rinehart said his 11-year-old son has an electric scooter, which is capable of going about 10 to 12 miles-per-hour, and it's something that he rides for fun. Rinehart said he trusts his son on the scooter, and noted that if the city passed the ordinance the way it was written council would basically be taking his son's toy away.

Melodie Smith said her 15-year-old daughter uses her electric scooter to drive herself to and from soccer practice, noting that she uses it specifically, because she doesn't have a drivers license.

"I think requiring a license is going too far," Smith said.

Smith noted that she requires her daughter to be safe on the scooter, adding that she must wear a helmet while riding.

Councilman Rick McLean added that if council was going to limit the age of someone who can legally drive a scooter in Grandview to 16, then those people should be able to ride their scooters anywhere in town that the speed limit is 25 miles-per-hour or less. He didn't like the idea of prohibiting the vehicles in the downtown corridor or on any of the arterial streets.

Mayor Mike Bren agreed with McLean, asking that the street restrictions be taken out of the ordinance. He then asked council members what their thoughts were in regards to allowing those with driver's licenses to legally ride the scooters anywhere in town, but also giving younger riders a chance to become legal scooter riders. He said one of the main concerns in regards to these scooters is that the drivers are often too young to know the rules of the road. Bren suggested that perhaps younger riders with electric scooters could attend a safety course taught by the local police department, which would then certify the younger riders, making it possible for them to ride on the road. He added that those who have taken a driver's education course, but have yet to receive their license, could also be certified to ride in Grandview.

"So we're enabling them to ride, enabling them to learn the rules of the road," Bren said.

The motorized scooter ordinance was tabled by council and will be revisited after the safety course provision has been added, as well as changes that do not limit the streets on which the scooters can be operated.

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