|Posted: Sep/25/2018 at 9:06am – author:jvecchi|
Further in regard to personal conveyance 126.96.36.199, the 7th edition added information related to devices such as the “Segway” personal assistance scoooters and motorized versions of devices traditionally thought of as toys. (e.g., skateboards, Razor scooters, toy cars, etc.) which were becoming more prevalent and often were operated on trafficways by licensed and unlicensed operators. The difficulty was in effectively separating these conveyances from motor vehicles.
The problem was that there was nothing to call them. They weren’t motorcycles clearly, but they were motorized. The general traffic safety consensus for D16 at the time was that these devices were better classified not as transport devices but rather as a class of non-motorist devices (personal conveyances) as they were better treated as devices for personal mobility assistance or recreation rather than as devices meant for transportation on the roadway with other motor vehicles. An example of the kind of issues that came up included questions like “if a person in a mobility assistance scooter tips over on the sidewalk, falls out and is hurt, is that an injury motor vehicle traffic crash with a rollover and an ejection of an unrestrained occupant?” Obviously, the consensus for the 7th edition was no, and that these needed to have their own classification separate from motor vehicles. Thus, personal conveyance was developed.
If the concept of their purpose being “personal mobility assistance or recreation” is still applicable and if these now maybe should be considered under a new term as a class of transport device? That is, are they now are intended to be operated for transportation purposes like other motor vehicles? It remains to be seen how they will be addressed legally. For example, if they are permitted to travel in locations typically designed for non-motorists (e.g., sidewalks, bike paths, crosswalks) then personal conveyance is still adequate and where they belong.
Members of the 7th edition consensus body discussed the fact that these devices are not generally required to be licensed as motor vehicles. We are now at a point, however, where crashes involving electric scooters are on the rise. Many U S cities have begun to amass fleets and offer dock-less rental e-scooters as shared city transport devices. Although there is no current statistical study on which to depend, emergency departments have reported a spike in visits resulting from crashes of or falls from e-scooters.
The discussion needs to address how these should be defined and what they should be called.
Joan vecchi,Project Manager