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Motor-Assisted Scooters and Scaled Down Motorcycles

The Centerville Police Department is dedicated to the safety and security of its citizens and persons traveling throughout the city. In recent years, there has been an increased use of motor-assisted scooters and what are being called pocket bikes or scaled down motorcycles. While these products provide a fun and exciting means of transportation for those who are riding them, they also cause concerns regarding traffic and pedestrian safety.

This article explains the restrictions placed on these products by Utah State law and delineates the practices and policies of the Centerville Police Department regarding the enforcement of the use of these items within the Centerville City limits.

Motor-Assisted Scooters defined by UCA 41-6-1 (22)A motor-assisted scooter is defined under Utah Code 41-6-1(22) as “a self-propelled device with at least two wheels in contact with the ground, a braking system capable of stopping the unit under typical operating conditions, a gas or electric motor not exceeding 40 cubic centimeters, a deck design for a person to stand while operating the device, and the ability to be propelled by human power alone.” Products meeting this definition are exempt from registration requirements under Utah Code 41-1a-202.2(n).

Motor-Assisted Scooters are further regulated under Utah State Code 41-6-90.5Under the provisions of Utah Code 41-6-90.5, a person may not operate a motor-assisted scooter in a public parking structure, on public property posted as an area prohibiting skateboards, on a highway consisting of a total of 4 or more lanes designated for vehicular traffic, or on a highway with a posted speed limit higher than 25 miles per hour. Motor-assisted scooters that have been altered from the original manufacturer’s design may not be operated on public roadways or other prohibited areas. Furthermore, under Utah Code 41-6-107.8, any person under the age of 18 is required to wear a helmet while operating a motor-assisted scooter. State law also provides that persons under 16 years of age may not operate a motor-assisted scooter using the motor unless the person is under the direct supervision of the person’s parent or guardian. It is a class C misdemeanor to violate the provisions of State law regulating motor-assisted scooters. Persons operating motor-assisted scooters unlawfully on the roadways within Centerville City are subject to citation and enforcement action including but not limited to criminal citation, a fine, and impounding of the motor-assisted scooter.

Sidewalk restrictions for motorized vehicles under Utah Code 41-6-106.10: It is illegal to operate any vehicle under motorized power on a sidewalk, excluding driveways.

Registration Requirements for scaled down motorcycle or pocket motorcycle Utah Code 41-1a-202(3) states unless otherwise exempt, registration is required for any motor vehicle, combination of vehicles, trailers, semi-trailer, or vintage trailer within 60 days of the owner establishing residency in this State. The scaled down motorcycle or pocket motorcycle does not fit the definition of a motor-assisted scooter nor does it meet the definition of a moped or a personal motorized mobility device. It also does not fit any definition of other vehicles that are exempt from vehicle registration under Section 41-1a-202. Therefore, based on Utah State law, registration is required for these types of motorcycles. This means that the motorcycles would need to comply with inspection and emissions requirements as well as Department of Transportation requirements for being operated on public roadways. The design and size of the pocket-sized motorcycle or scaled down motorcycle is not compatible with the requirements for registration, and therefore, at this time, it is not possible to register these vehicles for the roadway.

Scaled down motorcycles or pocket motorcycles prohibited Under current Utah State law, it is illegal to operate scaled down motorcycles or pocket motorcycles on any public roadways. It is a class C misdemeanor to violate the provisions of State law regarding operation of such vehicles on public roadways. Persons operating scaled down motorcycles or pocket motorcycles shall be subject to criminal citation and enforcement action, including, but not limited to, citation, fine and impounding of the vehicle.

Parents’ and the public’s cooperation in compliance with the State law and regulations regarding motor assisted scooters and scaled down motorcycles or pocket motorcycles will assist the Centerville Police Department in pursuing and maintaining pedestrian and vehicular safety.