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Lynn police enforce ban on motorized scooters
By Phoebe Sweet
Friday, July 16, 2004

LYNN -- Motorized scooter owners caught riding in the city may soon find themselves taking a ride in a police car instead.

The City Council gave police more power to enforce a citywide ban on motorized scooters and skateboards Tuesday, voting unanimously to allow police to seize scooters on a first offense, escort the riders home before returning the vehicles, and assess a $100 fines.

The ordinance, which gives teeth to an existing ban on scooters and similar motorized vehicles, is aimed a keeping kids off what many say are dangerous and speedy means of transportation.

"A lot of people don't realize these scooters are illegal," said Deputy Chief of Police Kevin Coppinger at a Tuesday hearing on the ordinance.

He said the majority of complaints from monthly neighborhood groups are about the scooters. He said the ban has been difficult to enforce because there is little means of tracking offenses, since cops were previously required to give a warning before issuing a citation or seizing scooters and returning them to parents.

"We get many, many complaints," he said. "It's a very dangerous situation."

Coppinger said the ban does not include handicapped scooters and landscaping vehicles such as lawnmowers, but covers any scooter or motorized skateboard not registered with the state's registry of motor vehicles.

Fifteen residents came to support Coppinger's request for the additional restrictions on scooters.

Lynn resident Peter Cogliano said he has had "several near misses" with scooters in his Mudge Street neighborhood.

"Somebody will eventually get killed and no one wants that," said Cogliano.

Other residents complained of noise caused by the scooters, some of which they said can travel up to 35 miles per hour.

"I am afraid that someone gets hurt and besides, these things make a racket. You can't even sit on your porch on a summer day," said Grove Street resident Sam Benedict.

He said children on scooters race up and down the one-way street day and night.

Other residents expressed concerns about plastic gas tanks on the vehicles exploding and injuring children, tots being hit by the scooters, and police not being able to chase the speedy vehicles through residential neighborhoods.

"It's such a danger. Some can go 30 miles per hour," said Jackie Courtney. "These young kids are riding double on a small bike on the sidewalk with no helmet and they are zigging and zagging."

But for one self-described "responsible father" who said both he and his son own the mini bikes, it is a case of a few bad apples spoiling the fun for everyone.

"I understand how everyone feels, but I am a responsible parent and my kid's responsible," said Hollingsworth Street resident R.C. Rucker. "People should take more responsibility for their kids."

Rucker said both he and his son, who raised the money to purchase his own scooter, wear helmets when they ride their vehicles, which only go 15 miles per hour.

The additional restrictions on scooters passed the Ordinance Committee by a 2-to-1 vote, with Councilor Wayne Lozzi voting against the measures, and passed the full council unanimously.

Posted Fri 16 Jul, 2004 14:16:

Perosnally as a avid motorcyclist/big boy with toys I dont think there should be an outright ban on these,restriction/safety standerds yes but no ban. I would guess the 15 people that showed up are probally elderly.
Again the minority decides what the majority can do. :evil:

Get out and vote............
 

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Chapter 90 Enforcer
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Re: What do you think.

I agree. They should have simpler restrictions. Ideally, the same rules as a moped. Something like: Must have a helmet, be at least 16, must have a learner's permit/license, no passengers, and no riding after 8pm... other than that - have a blast!
 

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At my summer job, we run into an issue of motorized scooters being operated on public ways and whether they require a drivers license or not. Apparently it comes down to how many CC's the scooters engine is and whether it needs to be registered before any MV laws can be enforced. Bylaws would be a completely different story, either way whoever drives scooters down those roads need not worry until they get caught 2 or 3 times, and even then itll just be a by-law violation.
 

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I think any type of motorized scooter/pocket bike/ with an engine that has a capacity to travel for a long period of time or can exceed the speed of walking power should at least be classified in the moped classification by the RMV ie learners permit to operate helmet, no passengers. I think the language and definitions of these vehicles needs to be concise and clear so there arent loopholes so a couple of 12 year old hoodlums can go bombing around the streets, and weave it out and of traffic. The cluster I am waiting for is how does the insurance company treat these things if poor joe working stiff hits one of them as its acting as described above. Is the lawful operator surcharged? Is he/she responsible for the deductible on their vehicle? Are the hoodlums entited to compensation for medical and replacement value for their loophole vehicle? IF anyone has any experience handling these type of accidents would love to hear some input on how they are handled?
 

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Retired Fed, Active Special
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They do fit nicely under the front bumber of your Crown Vic
:lol:
The only thing is be careful of radiator and oil pan issues. DO NOT stuff them too far under the front end. Back away slowly and then give em a secondary hit with a front wheel. That usually does the trick.
:wink:
 
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I would be in favor of restrictions as opposed to an outright ban. They should be subject to the same restrictions as any other off road vehicle. I'm sure this will happen in time as more people get involved.

They don't belong on the road or busy public lots, sidewalks etc.
 

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I think Motor Scooters are obnoxous and annoy me most when the people riding them interfere with traffic. They're like bicycle riders in downtown boston that go around as if they're trying to get themselves hit and then whine and cry that you almost ran them over. In terms of a ban, I havent made up my mind.
 

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Ban them all! They drive me nuts riding by my house during the day when I am trying to sleep. !
RIde a pedal bike, there faster, cheaper, cleaner and will reduce the number of the fat asses in the world.. :sb:
 

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Plain and simple they should be just like a moped and even then there should be restrictsions, Those things are everywhere. A big problem with them is Drug dealers have figured it out that they are faster than a pedal bike. so now we can chase a 2 stroke mini bike dealing drugs through the town if you cant tell yet im not for these stupid things !!!!!
 
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