Beware the scooter ban

With summer approaching, Carson City Sheriff's Chief Deputy Steve Schuette is reminding parents and children: Unless your motorized scooter or pocket bike is sporting the right equipment, don't ride it in Carson City.

"School's letting out in a week and we are concerned that the use will go back up," he said. In September, the Carson City Sheriff's Department began enforcing a ban aimed at keeping inexperienced riders off the streets.

"They are dangerous. We frequently see kids as young as 8 or 9 years old on a pocket bike that will exceed 30 miles per hour, with no experience in riding a motorized vehicle in traffic. It's a safety hazard for them and for other riders too."

Schuette said gas- and electric-powered bikes, scooters and go-carts meet the legal definition in Nevada for a motor vehicle. As such, the driver must have a valid driver's license, the vehicle must have a working horn, turn indicators, a rearview mirror and tail lamps.

Because the vehicles generally have a gas engine 49cc or smaller, they are not required to be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Anything over 49cc requires registration and a specialized license.

A pocket bike, a 3-by-2-foot motorized mini motorcycle, can hold a person who weighs up to 200 pounds and can reach speeds up to 45 mph.

Schuette said if children are spotted riding the vehicles on public roads and sidewalks, citations will be issued.

n Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.

Possible penalties

• Driving without a valid driver's license, $187

• Driving on a revoked license, $500

• No rearview mirror, $67

• No horn, $67

• No taillights, $67

• Riding on sidewalk, $67


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