February 4, 2005
Tempe will begin discussing the future of motorized scooters but offered no recommendations during its Thursday night City Council meeting whether they should be banned.
The city will decide whether to tighten enforcement of existing laws or outlaw the vehicles.
"Just so I’m not misunderstood, I am not promoting the ban of motorized scooters," Councilwoman Barb Carter said.
Carter, a teacher at Corona del Sol High School in Tempe, had the item placed on the issue review session because a lot of her students received scooters for Christmas.
She said ordinances needed to be looked at to make sure they cover the scooters, which have grown in popularity over the years.
Warren Edmund, a retired Arizona State University professor, asked the council not to ban the vehicles.
"I would very much like to use these scooters one day to get to and from campus," he said.
The move is part of a nationwide trend in which municipalities throughout the country are banning motorized scooters amid fears that they are unsafe.
Already the state’s two largest cities, Phoenix and Tucson, have outlawed the vehicles and other Valley communities could soon follow. In the East Valley, Chandler, Mesa and Scottsdale are looking into the issue.
Gilbert imposed a strict ordinance last year, but decided not to ban the vehicles. One provision restricts the vehicles from all roadways between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.
Currently, motorized scooters are restricted from major streets with speed limits above 25 mph and sidewalks in all East Valley municipalities.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 25,000 riders were injured between 1999 and 2003. In 2003, the Bethesda, Md.,-based commission estimates, about 8,000 riders were injured.