Scooter Enthusiasts Advocate for New Licensing and Regulation

Proponents Emphasize Safety Aspects

new licensing and regulationScooters and other electronic vehicles have taken the country by storm, but the reactions have been mixed. Some cities have banned them altogether or placed strict limits on the number of vendors and scooters in the community. Other municipalities have implemented extensive regulations regarding use and licensing.

The original electric motorbikes or scooters (now known somewhat colloquially as neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVS)) are designed to reach maximum speeds of about 25-30 miles per hour. New technology has led to the development of electric scooters that can go 45 mph or even faster.

Now, some e-bike advocates are calling for consideration of national regulation and/or licensing of two-wheeled electronic vehicles (EVs). They note that while cars, trucks and motorcycles all have national standards that must be met, the smaller EVs are mostly without regulation. Depending on the locality, the same two-wheeler might be classified (and regulated) as a bicycle, moped, electric bicycle, motorized bicycle or even a motorcycle. Vehicles that are legal in many states are outlawed in others.

Proponents of national regulation argue that it would create a clear set of safety standards that all manufacturers would have to meet. In addition, it would allow for the regulation of such vehicles according to their top rate of speed, with safety guidelines or requirements that correspond. They point to the current Department of Transportation and NHTSA certifications that apply to motorcycles, noting that those programs have prevented manufacturers from selling unsafe bikes in the United States.

Scooter advocates also propose a new type of license—an “urban electric motorbike” license. To obtain such a license, an applicant would need to complete safety and driving programs geared specifically to two-wheeled electronic vehicles.

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