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Insight from WFPD: Take precaution with operation of scooters, toy vehicles

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With summer fast approaching many are thinking about acquiring a scooter or battery operated jeep for your child. If you do, there are a number of rules that need to be adhered to and are defined through city ordinance.

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4. Motorized Scooter. For purposes of this chapter, "motorized scooter" shall mean a self propelled vehicle with at least two wheels on the ground during operation having a braking system capable of stopping the vehicle under typical operating conditions with a gas or electric motor less than or equal to 40 cc and capable of propelling the vehicle to a speed no greater than 20 mph. It shall also have a seat or deck designed to allow a person to sit or stand.

5. Toy Vehicle. For purposes of this chapter, "toy vehicle" shall mean a vehicle which is self propelled, or capable of being propelled by human power, manufactured for use by a child and capable of speeds no greater than 10 mph.

13-2006. Operation of Motorized Scooters. A person may operate a motorized scooter within the city limits of West Fargo, subject to the following conditions.

A. A motorized scooter may not be operated upon any sidewalk, bike path, pedestrian walkway or pedestrian trail.

B. No person shall operate a motorized scooter upon a roadway on which the posted speed limit is greater than 30 mph, a four lane roadway or upon any road that is designated as a snow emergency route. A motorized scooter may cross a roadway prohibited above, but may do so only at a perpendicular angle, and only after coming to a full and complete stop.

C. A motorized scooter operated upon any street must be equipped with reflectors and shall have a florescent orange flag, measuring a minimum of 100 square inches mounted 3 feet above the highest point of the scooter.

D. No motorized scooter may be operated prior to sunrise or after sunset.

E. No motorized scooter may be operated unless equipped with factory supplied stock exhaust muffler, exhaust systems and braking systems.

F. An operator under the age of 18 years of age must wear a protective helmet.

G. No passengers are allowed on a motorized scooter, unless the scooter is specifically designed to carry passengers.

H. Every person riding a motorized scooter upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle by the laws of this state, declaring rules of the road applicable to a vehicle or by the traffic ordinances of this city applicable to the driver of a motorized scooter, except as to special regulations in this chapter 13-20-4 and exempt as to those provisions of laws and ordinances which by their nature have no application. A person who has a mobility impairment certificate issued by a licensed physician shall be exempt from subsections A. and B. above. If a person is operating a motor scooter on a sidewalk, bike path, or pedestrian path or trail as a result of this exception, they must yield right of way to pedestrians in all situations.

13-2007. Operation of Toy Vehicles. No person shall operate a toy vehicle upon a roadway or other area open to the public for motor vehicle traffic, or anywhere within the city limits before sunrise or after sunset.

13-2008. Exemption From Certain Requirements. Notwithstanding other provisions of the West Fargo Ordinances, operators of motor scooters and toy vehicles shall be exempt from the requirements for possessing an operator's license, liability insurance, registration, and license plates as set by ordinance for other vehicles.

13-2009. Responsibility of Parent, Guardian or Person Having Custody of a Minor.

No parent, guardian or person having actual custody of a person under 18 years of age shall allow a person under 18 to operate any vehicle defined in this chapter in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter within the city. It is a rebuttable presumption that the person having charge of the person under 18 years of age allowed that person to operate the vehicle in violation of this chapter.

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