Tuesday, September 21, 2004
GRANDVIEW - For the second time in just a matter of months, the Grandview City Council is looking at regulating the use of motorized scooters on city streets.
Monday night, Grandview City Council took its first look at an ordinance drafted by Grandview City Attorney Jack Maxwell. The ordinance limits where the vehicles can be used, the need for safety equipment while riding the scooters and puts an age limit on how old a person must be to operate a scooter on city streets. Maxwell told council members that the ordinance was based on the one recently passed in Yakima, though ordinances from Sunnyside, Kennewick and Pasco were also looked at during the process.
Sewell noted that Council first looked at passing an ordinance regulating the scooters during its meeting on May 17, but decided at that time that it wasn't something the city needed.
Grandview Police Chief Dave Charvet said that although there are children riding motorized scooters in the community, there haven't been any real problems. Charvet said the city is trying to be proactive and pass an ordinance before someone gets hurt.
Charvet said he had a chance to look at the ordinances adopted in other communities and felt like the one drafted by Maxwell covered everything of significance, including that scooter riders must follow the rules of the road, wear a helmet and have a valid driver's license.
"That's an important one, because it means they have the basic training," Charvet said of the driver's license requirement.
The ordinance being looked at by the City of Grandview requires motorized scooter operators to follow the rules of the road, restricts 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. The ordinance also requires scooter riders to have a valid driver's license, therefore putting an age limit on who can operate the vehicles. The ordinance requires riders to wear a helmet, and have their vehicle equipped with lights and reflectors. When it comes to equipment requirements, the ordinance makes brakes and mufflers a necessity.
Councilwoman Joan Souders said that despite limiting the scooters to roads with no higher than a 25 mile per hour speed limit, she thinks the scooters might still be operated at too fast of speeds. She pointed to the section of Euclid Road that runs past Dykstra Park, noting that with the hill she is worried scooter riders could get going too fast.
Mayor Mike Bren said he feels that the scooters could end up being a problem, because the people operating them don't always use common sense.
Grandview City Council will take another look at the proposed scooter ordinance during its Oct. 4 meeting. Bren said he is hoping to receive input from the public in regards to the proposed ordinance.