If you are under 18 and riding an electric scooter, wear a helmet, or you might get a traffic ticket

Monday, July 7th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Those electric scooters are very popular. Perhaps you've seen them zipping through your neighborhood. They look like lots of fun. News on 6 consumer reporter Rick Wells tells us getting an $80 ticket from the police can take the fun right out of it.

“It has Saturn signals, you have your left, right." It also has a horn, headlight, taillight, all that safety stuff, and LaHonda Roberts thought she was buying her kids a fun and safe scooter to ride around the neighborhood. “It’s battery operated. You charge it, plug it in charge it, it runs probably eight miles before the battery goes dead."

Her 13-year-old son Danny was riding it around the neighborhood last week, until he got pulled over by the Tulsa Police. The officer gave him a ticket. Danny Roberts: "He said well, no helmet, no insurance, no driver's license, no tag, or whatever." Mrs Roberts said who knew you had to register the thing. She said where she bought it at Steve's Wholesale on Admiral, no one said anything. They told me, they didn't know either, but people are buying the scooters as fast as they get them in.

And why not what could be more fun. Take it to the lake, take it to the park, problem is riding it on city streets, cause technically it's a motor vehicle.

We checked in with Sgt Wayne Allen at the Tulsa Police Department, he looked thru the regs. The electric scooters are not specifically addressed, but in the strictness sense of the word, it is self-propelled and therefore is a motor vehicle and to be operated on a city street it needs a tag and insurance. But more than that, in this case the issue was no doubt one of safety. "The real meaning of that traffic stop is if he's under 18 and operating a motorized, even an electric vehicle on a city street, he has to have a helmet on.”

Here’s the deal. The police say they're not trying to crack down on electric scooters, they recognize the fun too. Theoretically if enough people get these, the Tulsa City Council could write some rules for them.

In the meantime, at the very least if you are under 18, you gotta wear a helmet.