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My Issue With EUCs Classified Under MM


RedSpectreNine
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Having EUCs in the same category with other non-powered micro-mobility (MM) options will confuse future legislation. IMO adopting a separate classification for electric micro-mobility (EMM) is a better idea in terms of legal vocabulary. Reclassifying ourselves may allow us to create space for reasonable future laws. PEV is often used, but my issue with that term is that it suggests electric vehicles in general. I can imagine right now some lawmaker say, "Oh I own a PEV, look here is a picture of my Tesla Model 3." I'm not going to assume lawmakers will immediately differentiate, which can mean a lot depending on how much time one is given to make a defense for EUCs. 

I predict there is going to be a future battle in terms of classification. Which will likely dictate use. Here is what I think will happen under current terms:

  1. Classified with bikes and skateboards and be absorbed with MM in general
    •  Solidifies legal access to trails but might create a culture of fear at a possible expense for pedestrian safety
  2. Classified with Mopeds as wheels can reach speeds 30+ mph (most states in the USA don't allow Mopeds to go faster than 30 mph)
    • Allows higher speed, but likely will result in unreasonable restrictions
  3. Banned outright due to safety concerns

Where I live I'm lucky that option (1.) happened in my area. We had a huge win earlier this year where electric powered MM can now legally ride on sidewalks, trails, and bike lanes. However, I can definitely see a future where other localities and communities won't be so lucky. During the process for our win there was a ton of lash back from the elderly community, scared that electric powered vehicles on trails pose a danger since they don't have as much freedom of movement.

I also want to note that giving Mopeds an official classification is important too, if they aren't already in your area. Since we basically fit between non-powered MM and Mopeds in terms of law. I suggest that Mopeds and Motor Scooters (Not to be confused with E-Scooters) be classified as Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs). 

I attached an image of my idea of vehicle classification. Any opinions?

VehicleOrganizationIdea.PNG

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In the UK the term 'micromobility' is already being used to refer to electrically assisted pedal cycles (EPAC) and future classification for small electric vehicles, of which EUCs would potentially fall under.

I don't think this is likely to affect the US much but, in answer to your question, some countries already use MicroMobility to include the very devices you're suggesting that it doesn't :)

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We (in Czech Republic) have a special category for self-balancing personal transport devices, like EUCs, Segways, hoverboards and so on. The advantage over mixing it together with e-bikes is that those self-balancing devices can ride on sidewalks (if you ride at the speed of walk at most),  while bikes, whether electric or not, can't (at least here), and you can have other similar considerations for those devices.

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53 minutes ago, Zopper said:

We (in Czech Republic) have a special category for self-balancing personal transport devices, like EUCs, Segways, hoverboards and so on. The advantage over mixing it together with e-bikes is that those self-balancing devices can ride on sidewalks (if you ride at the speed of walk at most),  while bikes, whether electric or not, can't (at least here), and you can have other similar considerations for those devices.

That's actually a really good idea. Seems like common sense to me. 
Edit: So does does the self balancing category exclude smaller E-Scooters too? That would be a shame if they were since E-Scooters are used on city sidewalks in USA all the time. 

Edited by RedSpectreNine
Added a question.
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2 hours ago, RedSpectreNine said:

That's actually a really good idea. Seems like common sense to me. 
Edit: So does does the self balancing category exclude smaller E-Scooters too? That would be a shame if they were since E-Scooters are used on city sidewalks in USA all the time. 

Yes. Actually, even non-electric scooters like this are not permitted on sidewalks. They are quietly overlooked though. Only pedestrians, roller blades and self-balancing devices (if going slow) can use it by law (AFAIK, IANAL). So our law is far from ideal. The self-balancing thing is just a rare bright spot.

One thing to consider, though, is the amount of pedestrians and the width of the sidewalk. I think the sidewalks in the USA I've seen are generally wider and less frequented than what is here.

scooter.jpg

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11 minutes ago, Zopper said:

One thing to consider, though, is the amount of pedestrians and the width of the sidewalk. I think the sidewalks in the USA I've seen are generally wider and less frequented than what is here.

It depends, In urban areas sidewalks are very wide for high traffic. The same goes for mixed use paths regardless of location. However when one reaches suburban or rural areas sidewalks they are supposed to be 5 feet wide, but this is not always the case.

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Yeah, this dynamic plays the same everywhere I think. The norm for sidewalk width is about the same too (to a rounding tolerance). But we are way more used to public transport, so you meet plenty of people on sidewalks even out of the downtown, in areas where in the USA, most people just go from door to their car from what I have seen there. Not always and everywhere, but in general there is a difference. And also most of our cities are way older and had grown organically, so no pretty straight streets with plenty of space, but twisting and turning and with less space than needed for both road and sidewalk.

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