Scooters Follow Different Rules Of The Road - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

12/23/03

Scooters Follow Different Rules Of The Road

Motorized scooters are the latest craze sweeping the nation, and the Coast as well. The scooters are motorized bikes and skate boards, and many of these hot sellers will probably turn up under the tree Christmas morning. But before cranking up and riding off there are some things you should know before you end up breaking the law.

Thirteen year old Marcus Johnson got his motorized scooter for Christmas three years ago, and fell in love with it.

"Cause it's really fun. You can ride anywhere on them. You just have to wear a helmet and be careful and watch for cars and stuff," Marcus Johnson said.

Police say he's partially correct. Though safety is always a concern, you can't ride them just anywhere.

"They are considered a motorized vehicle, and as such, the laws of the state say that any vehicle on a public street that's motorized should have a license, a registration, should have all the appropriate lights, adequate brakes and everything else," Bay St. Louis Police Chief Frank McNeil said.

In addition to that, a scooter owner must get an inspection sticker, a license tag and purchase liability insurance. That is if they are going to be driven on public roads.

"We'd just ask, please, if they'd observe laws that are supposed to be observed. If they're going to run these motor scooters, try to run them on private property or somewhere they can ride them around a track, or anywhere like that, as opposed to putting them on a public street," McNeil said.

The same requirements apply to scooters that look like mini motor bikes. Police say the electric or gasoline powered mini bikes are subject to the same state laws.

Leslie Yates is a scooter distributor.

"They're selling like hot cakes."

Yates sales the scooters from her Waveland Highway 90 store.

"It's a big responsibility on the parents also to make sure these children are respecting the laws and not getting out in the middle of the highway riding these things," Yates said.

Police say they'll begin strictly enforcing the laws if necessary. If your scooter doesn't meet the required rules of the road, riding on private property might be your only option.

by Al Showers

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