There are many new ways to get around town, know the rules

There are many new ways to get around town, know the rules

There are many ways to travel along the streets these days.  We have cars, trucks, motorcycles, pedestrians, and bicycles and the traffic laws try to keep everyone safe. We have added many new forms of transportation that use our local roads including, Electric or Gas Scooters, Pocket or Mini Motorcycles, Mopeds, Segway, Electric Assisted Bicycles, and more.

It can be tricky to determine what category your favorite transportation device falls under, and what laws you most follow when using it on the road or sidewalk.  When you read Oregon Revised Statue, it doesn’t always use the common names.  For example, the Segway is referred to as an “Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Device.” Occasionally, Oregon Legislature will amend various statutes.  Oregon Senate Bill 1532 recently changed the definition of Motor Assisted Scooter to now include four-wheeled devices.

Here is how Oregon Revised Statue defines a few of the more popular transportation devices and some of the rules that apply to them.

MOTOR ASSISTED SCOOTER (Gas or Electric Scooter)

  1. Is designed to be operated on the ground with not more than four wheels;
  2. Has a foot support or set for the operator’s use;
  3. Can be propelled by motor or human propulsion;
  4. Is equipped with a power source that is incapable of propelling the vehicle at a speed of greater than 24 miles per hour on level ground and: (a) If the power source is a combustion(gas) engine, has a piston or rotor displacement of 35 cubic centimeters (cc) or less regardless of the number of chambers in the power source; or (b) If the power source is electric, has output of not more than 1,000 watts.

They do not need to be registered or insured and you don’t need a driver’s license to ride one.  However, you must be at least 16 years old to ride it on the road.  When riding you have to wear a helmet and ride on the bike lane or bike path.

MOPED

  1. Ride with only 3 wheels or fewer on the pavement;
  2. Have a driver’s seat or a saddle;
  3. Run off of a directly- or automatically- functioning power drive system and doesn’t require the rider to have to clutch or shift before starting.
  4. Not be able to drive faster than 30 miles per hour on flat ground
  5. Not have a combustion engine bigger than 50 cubic centimeters (cc).

You need a standard operator’s license to ride a moped on the street.  The moped must be registered and insured.  You also must wear a DOT approved helmet (motorcycle helmet).  You may not have a passenger.  You can only ride in the bike lane if you are using human power.

ELECTRIC ASSISTED BICYCLE

  1. Is designed to be operated on the ground on wheels;
  2. Has a seat or saddle for use of the rider;
  3. Is designed to travel with nor more than three wheels in contact with the ground;
  4. Has both fully operative pedals for human propulsion and electric motor; and
  5. Is equipped with an electric motor that: (a) Has a power output of not more than 1,000 watts; and (b) Is incapable of propelling the vehicle at a speed of greater than 20 miles per hour on level ground.

You do not need to have it registered or insured, nor do you need a driver’s license.  You need to be 16 years old or older and ride it in a bike lane.

ELECTRIC PERSONAL ASSISTIVE MOBILITY DEVICE (Segway)

  1. Is self-balancing on two non-tandem wheels;
  2. Is designed to transport one person in a standing position;
  3. Has an electric propulsion system; and
  4. Has a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour.

You must be 16 years old or older, but you do not need a driver’s license.  You do not need to register or insure it.  Depending on where it is operated, they fall under either bicycle laws or pedestrian laws.  It may not carry more than one person.  It must have lighting in limited visibility conditions, including a white front light visible from 500 feet and a rear red reflector or light visible from 600 feet.  You may not install a siren or whistle.

The Beaverton Police Department is committed to your safety and wishes everyone a safe and happy summer!

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