Jeremy Klages would like to see Gilbert ban motorized scooters. And he's not alone. Other Gilbert residents have told Town Council members in the past few months that they are frustrated with the noise generated by the motorized scooters.
As a result, the Town Council plans to discuss the issue this month during a meeting to determine whether the scooters should be banned on all public streets or if noise restrictions should be enacted.
"These are loud, and they are constant," said Klages, a Gilbert resident who also sees the motorized scooters as a safety hazard. "Gilbert has a good reputation of being a family-oriented community . . . and I don't think (the scooters) are conducive to a community like that."
Gilbert's current ordinance, adopted in January 1998, requires that riders be at least 13 years old and wear a helmet if they are younger than 18. The ordinance also prohibits riding on sidewalks, in bike lanes, in parks except on public streets through the park, on streets with speed limits of more than 25 miles per hour and on public property where skateboards are banned.
At the request of some council members, Town Manager George Pettit said Gilbert researched the issue and determined the council could ban the motorized scooters on all public streets, rights of way and public property. Pettit said the council could also add regulations to limit their noise — a subject not addressed in the current ordinance.
"The problem is we've had complaints about noise," said Councilman Don Skousen, who supports discussing the issue at the April 13 council meeting.
Gilbert police would enforce any new regulation. Police Cmdr. Tim Dorn said most complaints today involve noise, which police do not check for at this time. Dorn said a noise restriction, however, would not necessarily solve the problem.
"A noise ordinance can get difficult to enforce sometimes," Dorn said.
Dorn said that if police see a violation, they try to educate the riders and their parents before issuing a citation. This includes a brochure, "Motorized Scooters and the Law," which quotes both town and state law.