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Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

Electric scooters are illegal on street

Sunday, October 5, 2003

An electric scooter
SIKESTON -- Traveling short distances has never been easier than with an electric scooter. Anyone is able to glide along, simply using a battery for power never worrying about finding a parking spot or stopping for fuel. Except there is one problem; legally the scooters can not be used on city streets or sidewalks in Sikeston.

"These new electric scooters are illegal," said Drew Juden, director of the Sikeston Department of Public Safety. "They don't meet qualifications."

Juden said only scooters that are 50cc or greater are legal. The driver of any scooter 50cc or greater must then wear a helmet and have a driver's license to operate the scooter.

"The scooters are not even legal on sidewalks," Juden said. "The only place they are legal are on private property such as private lots and driveways."

While the scooters are sold at many businesses in the area, the buyer isn't always aware the scooters can't be driven on city streets and sidewalks.

"I think some people who are selling (the scooters) are misrepresenting them," Juden said.

Already several of these scooters have been seen on city streets and in traffic.

"We've gotten several complaints of scooters coming off of the side streets and getting in front of cars, pulling into traffic," Juden said.

Many of the users of the scooters are children, something that really worries Sikeston DPS officers.

"A lot of the people riding the scooters are 11-and 12-year-olds; young people," said Lieutenant Mark Crocker of Sikeston DPS. "They don't know the rules of the road and somebody is going to get killed if this continues."

With more and more scooters hitting the roads, DPS officers are stepping up their enforcement.

"We are going to launch a PR enforcement campaign," Juden said. "We are going to be stopping people on the scooters and letting them know the scooters are not legal."

While officers are not planning on giving tickets initially, if the driver continues operating the scooter on the roadway tickets could be issued.

Anyone with questions can contact Sikeston DPS or the license bureau.