Motorized scooters illegal on public property

| 29 Sep 2011 | 08:43

    NORTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA - Don’t take your unlicensed scooter on state and township roads. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is reminding area residents that motorized scooters, mini-bikes and pocket bikes are illegal to operate on public property. Scooters, which typically are gas or electric powered, closely resemble a skateboard with handlebars (some also have seats). The rider stands on the platform (or sits on a seat), holds onto the handlebars and controls the power of the engine with a hand control. These scooters can reach speeds of up to 10 to 20 miles per hour. Mini-bikes resemble small motorcycles, but they lack all necessities such as insurance, horns, lights and mufflers that are needed to pass state inspection. Pocket bikes are even smaller than mini-bikes, but much faster, according to manufacturers, reaching speeds as high as 70 mph. All are classified as motor vehicles, according to PennDOT. The state’s vehicle code requires registration, license plates and inspection. However, these vehicles can not pass inspection safety standards because they lack basic safety features that are designed to protect the operator. In addition, the drivers must possess a valid driver’s license. The only place to legally operate these vehicles without violating PennDOT guidelines is on one’s own property. If you get caught, the fines for violators can range from $25 to $200. Operators should always wear a helmet. For more safety information, check out PennDOT’s Northeastern Pennsylvania transportation website. For more safety tips, click on “Safety.”