ODOT Budget Bill Concern – Scooters

Dear Park Section Members;

I wanted to make you aware of a concern we have learned about in the ODOT Budget Bill.

Last night (March 5, 2019), the House added language which would allow electric scooters on public roadways and “paths.” While the language is vague, we do have concerns that it could be applied to trails in park districts.

I spoke this evening to our friends at the Ohio Municipal League. We will be working with them and with the sponsor of the amendment to make sure that this is clarified in the Senate so that it would not prevent you from passing resolutions prohibiting the operation of scooters, and hopefully, removing the word “paths” from the section entirely.

The full language follows:

Sec. 4511.514. (A)(1) A low-speed electric scooter may be

operated on the public streets, highways, sidewalks, and paths,

and may be operated on any portions of roadways set aside for the

exclusive use of bicycles in accordance with this section. 6751

(2) Except as otherwise provided in this section, those

sections of this chapter that by their nature could apply to a

low-speed electric scooter do apply to the scooter and the person

operating it whenever it is operated upon any public street,

highway, sidewalk, or path, or upon any portion of a roadway set

aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.

(B) No operator of a low-speed electric scooter shall do any

of the following:

(1) Fail to yield the right-of-way to all pedestrians at all

times;

(2) Fail to give an audible signal before overtaking or

passing a pedestrian;

(3) Operate the device at night unless the device or its

operator is equipped with or wearing both of the following:

(a) A lamp pointing to the front that emits a white light

visible from a distance of not less than five hundred feet;

(b) A red reflector facing the rear that is visible from all

distances from one hundred feet to six hundred feet when directly

in front of lawful lower beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle.

(C) No person who is under sixteen years of age shall operate

a low-speed electric scooter.

(D) No person shall operate a low-speed electric scooter at a

speed greater than fifteen miles per hour.

(E)(1) Except as otherwise provided in this division, whoever

violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. If, within

one year of the offense, the offender previously has been

convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or

traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a

misdemeanor of the fourth degree. If, within one year of the

offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more

predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this

section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

(2) The offense established under this section is a strict

liability offense and section 2901.20 of the Revised Code does not

apply. The designation of this offense as a strict liability

offense shall not be construed to imply that any other offense,

for which there is no specified degree of culpability, is not a

strict liability offense.

I will continue to keep you updated as we learn more. We may be asking you to contact members of the Senate in the next couple of weeks.

Best,
Woody

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