Got stopped by a motorcycle cop on the Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville, SC; was told that my EUC is considered a motorized vehicle and I am not allowed on the trail. This is a 22-mile "multi-use" trail that connects a lot of areas (including downtown Greenville and adjacent towns) in Greenville county. Suffice it to say, if I'm not allowed on the Swamp Rabbit, my EUC is borderline useless.
The cop told me that Ty Houck, Director of Greenways, Natural and Historic Resources for Greenville County Recreation District, is responsible for cracking down on electric skateboards because "they go too fast." He looked at my EUC and said that thing's a motorized vehicle. There are signs everywhere that say no motorized vehicles, however I was hoping that that rule was for things with combustion engines are larger vehicles like mopeds.
The State laws (https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t56c005.php) regarding these in SC are similar to what I've read in this thread.
Title 56 Chapter 5 Article 26 Section 56-5-3310 goes on about Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Devices ("self-balancing two nontandem wheeled device...") and how they are NOT to be considered motor vehicles, notwithstanding another provision of law. Greenville municipal code offers no such provisions that would override this. However, the use of the word "two" in "two nontandem wheeled device" kind of hamstrings the use of this rule...
(A) As used in this article, "Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Device" or "EPAMD" means a self-balancing two nontandem wheeled device designed to transport one person, with an electric propulsion system with average power of seven hundred fifty watts (one horsepower), whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by this propulsion system while ridden by an operator weighing one hundred seventy pounds, is less than twenty miles an hour.
(B) The operation of an EPAMD is governed by the provisions of this article. Notwithstanding another provision of law, an EPAMD is not considered a "vehicle" or "motor vehicle" within the meaning of the laws of this State and no provisions of law relating to vehicles or motor vehicles apply to an EPAMD unless specified in this article.
Section 56-6-130 defines a motor vehicle:
Every vehicle which is self-propelled, except mopeds, and every vehicle which is propelled by electric power obtained from overhead trolley wires, but not operated upon rails, is a "motor vehicle".
A catchall that screws me if a EUC isn't given its own identity.
Section 56-5-160 defines a bicycle:
A bicycle is a device propelled solely by pedals, operated by one or more persons, and having two or more wheels, except childrens' tricycles
Section 56-5-165 defines a moped:
Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 56-5-160, every cycle with pedals to permit propulsion by human power or without pedals and with a motor of not more than fifty cubic centimeters which produces not to exceed two brake horsepower and which is not capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed in excess of thirty miles an hour on level ground is a moped. If an internal combustion engine is used, the moped must have a power drive system that functions directly or automatically without clutching or shifting by the operator after the drive system is engaged.
Regarding mopeds, in some new legislation, effective November 2018:
(26) ‘Moped’ means a cycle, defined as a motor vehicle, with or without pedals, to permit propulsion by human power, that travels on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground whether powered by gasoline, electricity, alternative fuel, or a hybrid combination thereof. Based on the engine or fuel source, the moped must be equipped not to exceed the following limitations: a motor of fifty cubic centimeters; or designed to have an input exceeding 750 watts and no more than 1500 watts. If an internal combustion engine is used, the moped must have a power drive system that functions directly or automatically without clutching or shifting by the operator after the drive system is engaged.
Bottom line is I think they need to modify the definition of Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Devices to include one-wheeled devices. I do not know where that leaves electric skateboards. It seems the guy who may be able to help with all this thinks electric skateboards go too fast, and from what I read, his two young children utilize the Swamp Rabbit Trail to get to school. The thing is, we've got road cyclists decked out in spandex, seemingly training for the Tour de France, burning rubber all along this trail.
I'm still a bit frazzled by all this today. Has anyone had luck with convincing their local government? Any tips for me? I'm going to need to write at least one email and one phone call...and city hall is just a few blocks from my office...