‘Scootering’ is no crime - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

‘Scootering’ is no crime

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Posted: Saturday, February 12, 2005 6:39 am | Updated: 7:15 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

We have news for Scottsdale Vice Mayor Betty Drake, who wants to ban motorized scooters from Scottsdale streets.

At Tuesday’s City Council meeting she termed them unsafe by their design, saying, "Kids with no training, no experience and no licensing can operate these."

Drake has obviously overlooked the existence of quite wobbly bicycles, which children also operate on city streets with no training, no experience and no licensing. But she’s not advocating banning those. Only one documented death of a scooter rider has occurred in Scottsdale, but many more deaths have occurred involving youngsters on bicycles, which can go as fast.

Councilman Bob Littlefield accurately characterized the issue as not about safety, but about noise; if it weren’t for the bothersome noises that scooters make, the matter wouldn’t be before the council at all.

The council then commissioned a (sigh) scooter study. It’s too late to save taxpayers its cost, but here’s what it will probably determine:

Scooters are loud, and in many cases they violate noise ordinances, but that’s no reason for an outright ban. Existing laws setting maximum decibel levels in neighborhoods should be better enforced. Owners of scooters that are modified to be louder than intended by the manufacturer should be fined and their scooters ordered re-modified.

Phoenix and Tucson overreacted when enacting their bans. In Scottsdale, there is a need to better enforce current laws so scooters can safely, more quietly co-exist with neighbors, so the city should step that up. There. Done. (Isn’t that study looking sillier all the time?)

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