News

Pull over, scooters

By ERICA HALL

The Mirror

The Federal Way City Council has officially banned motorized scooters on most streets and in all parks and trails throughout the city.

Following a unanimous vote by council members Sept. 21, the ban will go into effect tomorrow.

City officials began exploring ways to regulate motorized scooters –– the ones riders stand on –– after complaints from park visitors who said they were almost hit by them, and from people who said they’d seen near-misses between cars and scooters.

“The primary issue is safety,” city attorney Pat Richardson said.

Because scooters usually only get up to 25 miles per hour, the new code prohibits them on streets where the speed limit is greater than 25 mph in order to keep scooters from mixing with faster-moving cars. Motorized scooters are still allowed on streets with speed limits of 25 mph or lower.

Noise complaints and near-accidents led to the ban in all city-owned parks and on trails –– including the parking lots and sidewalks –– and scooters will be subject to the city’s noise ordinance.

While motorized scooters will be prohibited in parks and trails, the code doesn’t apply on private property.

In addition, users must be 16 years old.

Federal Way Police will be holding a scooter safety school for people 16 and older who still will be allowed to ride on roads where the speed limit is lower than 25 and on private property.

If police catch someone breaking the ordinance, the user could be cited for a traffic infraction, which includes a fine of up to $250. For those under 16, police could confiscate the scooter and call the user’s parents or guardians.

Staff writer Erica Hall: 925-5565, ehall@fedwaymirror.com

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