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Texas Lawmakers 'Classifies' the Electric Unicycle


Jason McNeil
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11 hours ago, Michael Vu said:

This is actually my doing. I've been talking and working directly with my representative and his team for the past couple of months

That's great, excellent going! If one state officially recognizes the Wheel, it probably is going to be easier to get adoption in others, sort of a domino effect. 

Edited by Jason McNeil
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Congrats @Michael Liu on your perseverance for driving this topic to the Texas legislature. Interesting topics on other bills under consideration:

14. Relating to the creation of the offense of bestiality :facepalm:

22. Relating to pedestrian use of a sidewalk :huh:

37. Relating to the composition of the combative sports advisory board :thumbup:

41. Relating to increasing the punishment for the offense of abuse of a corpse  :cry2: (is this really an issue in Texas?)

 

 

 

 

Edited by Rehab1
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  • 1 month later...
On 3/15/2017 at 3:23 AM, Jason McNeil said:

That's great, excellent going! If one state officially recognizes the Wheel, it probably is going to be easier to get adoption in others, sort of a domino effect. 

Just FYI: WA state has had a law specifically covering EUCs since summer 2015, and it allows us on sidewalks and residential streets. 

For those looking to do something similar in your state use this an an example!

http://app.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2015-16/Pdf/Bills/Session Laws/House/1884.SL.pdf

 

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  • 1 year later...
2 hours ago, cmonnom said:

I know this topic is a bit old but the city of Dallas has started cracking down on electric scooters on sidewalks and in parks (including the Katy trail that I use to commute to work every day). I am afraid I'm next with my Ninebot One C and that I am eventually going to get caught in the net. I move to Dallas a year ago and started riding 9 months ago.

So far I haven't seen anybody else with a EUC around Dallas. Most people are super friendly and stop me to ask questions about it. The thing is, the city started posting signs like these: https://dfw.cbslocal.com/2018/08/03/new-signs-katy-trail-dallas-ban-scooters/ and I've seen cops pulling scooters over when they are using sidewalks.

I am very interested in helping out with this bill because I go way slower than any bike or roller blade constantly passing me (so who is the real danger here?) and the road is just too dangerous. What can I do to help?

That is unfortunate news, you might not be aware of the jogger killed by a cyclist on the Katy Trail.  Might be part of the reason the city is cracking down so hard.

You could keep doing the commute and see if you ever get stopped, if you ride courteously perhaps it will never be an issue.

At the same time, maybe you can find a parallel street route as a backup.

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/news/2010/10/04/20101003-Dallas-jogger-hit-by-bicycle-on-603 

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4 hours ago, cmonnom said:

I know this topic is a bit old but the city of Dallas has started cracking down on electric scooters on sidewalks and in parks (including the Katy trail that I use to commute to work every day). I am afraid I'm next with my Ninebot One C and that I am eventually going to get caught in the net. I move to Dallas a year ago and started riding 9 months ago.

So far I haven't seen anybody else with a EUC around Dallas. Most people are super friendly and stop me to ask questions about it. The thing is, the city started posting signs like these: https://dfw.cbslocal.com/2018/08/03/new-signs-katy-trail-dallas-ban-scooters/ and I've seen cops pulling scooters over when they are using sidewalks.

I am very interested in helping out with this bill because I go way slower than any bike or roller blade constantly passing me (so who is the real danger here?) and the road is just too dangerous. What can I do to help?

wow!

that is not good because all our local government people setting laws like this use municode and copy each others ordinances.  

the safe bet is to always just say no.

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On 9/15/2018 at 12:59 PM, cmonnom said:

I know this topic is a bit old but the city of Dallas has started cracking down on electric scooters on sidewalks and in parks (including the Katy trail that I use to commute to work every day). I am afraid I'm next with my Ninebot One C and that I am eventually going to get caught in the net. I move to Dallas a year ago and started riding 9 months ago.

So far I haven't seen anybody else with a EUC around Dallas. Most people are super friendly and stop me to ask questions about it. The thing is, the city started posting signs like these: https://dfw.cbslocal.com/2018/08/03/new-signs-katy-trail-dallas-ban-scooters/ and I've seen cops pulling scooters over when they are using sidewalks.

I am very interested in helping out with this bill because I go way slower than any bike or roller blade constantly passing me (so who is the real danger here?) and the road is just too dangerous. What can I do to help?

I’m not a lawyer but here’s my take after a few minutes doing my research:

-Dallas City code 32-8 states a person commits an offense if they drive a motor vehicle in any park or recreation area. No mention of electric bike, epamd, electric wheelchair/scooter

-Texas Transportation Code section 541.201 define motor vehicle as (11) “Motor vehicle” means a self-propelled vehicle or a vehicle that is propelled by electric power from overhead trolley wires.  The term does not include an electric bicycle or an electric personal assistive mobility device, as defined by Section 551.201

I’d say any tickets for riding your wheel can be won in court. Keep a copy of the judgement with you while riding around the park.

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I totally thought about that when looking up for a loophole like "what IS a motor vehicle".

Like you, I'm not a lawyer but there must be other rules because I'm pretty sure I saw a sign at the entrance of the Katy trail banning electric scooters specifically.

Maybe I'll ask police officers on my way to work when I see one. There are a few regulating traffic by a construction zone and they always wave at me when I go by, like they're definitely not interested in giving me a ticket for using the sidewalk.

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@Michael Vu Very productive. There was something on the local news this weekend about UT Austin cracking down on scooters and handing out citations. I think this is just a follow up to April's news about $25-$100 fines for running stop signs.

Getting common (sense) ground as bicycles would be a big step.

BTW, I think we are really there, as far as enforcement is concerned. From the officers I have talked with , they are in favor of people using these, and I have received no negative feedback.

 

Edited by Circuitmage
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  • 2 years later...

Hmm...

 

I see.

 

I've been discussing this in the central Texas EUc Facebook group, and one thing we’ve found is this Texas code doc that pretty much grants EPAMDs the same rights as bicycles.

 

but that’s only if EUCs get classified as such since they may also fit the description of “neighborhood electric vehicle” in which case they would be more restricted to streets with speed limits under 35mph.

 

I’ve been riding in downtown Austin and in the trails meet the lake without issue, but then again I haven’t seen or ridden by any cops and I keep my speed below 15mph.

 

the last time I rode the Butler trail near the lake a guy screamed at me saying I’d get a ticket.

 

and I figured I’d get informed.

 

Anyone else have some research or experience to share on this matter?

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I am no expert and I could certainly be wrong, but I feel that this effort to have government classify EUC's may be misguided. 

My opinion on this matter is based on my own personal experience in NYC as a traditional (pedal) unicyclist.

Many years ago, shortly after a blizzard in NYC with the streets still covered in snow (similar to attached photo), I went for a ride on my 36" wheel unicycle. There were nearly zero cars on the road. I was riding the wrong way (against the non-existent traffic) and may have ridden through a red light. NYC is very lax with enforcement of minor offenses since the cops have bigger fish to fry, so they typically don't bother you even if you're breaking traffic rules on your bike, unicycle, scooter, EUC, etc. unless you're being flagrantly dangerous. However on this particular day, two cops pulled me over and immediately started busting my balls. They made me stand in a designated spot they pointed out in the freezing cold for about 45 minutes while they wrote me up for multiple tickets. I knew the law better than these cops and was aware of the fact that there was no classification for a one-wheeled vehicle (all the vehicle definitions contained the words "two wheeled", "three wheeled" or "four wheeled") in the NY legal code. As such, I knew my ticket would be dismissed and I actually told (kind of taunted) the cop that the judge would toss these tickets out. When my court date arrived, the judge called the cop up first. The cop immediately explained to the judge that I had indicated to him at the time he issued the tickets to me that they would be dismissed. Then the judge called me up. I explained that one-wheeled vehicles are not included in the relevant statutes and provided a copy of said statutes. The judge then proceeded to lecture me for about ten minutes before dismissing my tickets after confirming that one-wheeled vehicles are not defined in the legal code and because the relevant statutes explicitly state "two wheeled, three wheeled, or four wheeled" vehicles. Had one-wheeled vehicles been classified, I would have been convicted and had to buck up a bunch of money. So be careful what you wish for (and/or try to obtain)! 

2006_Blizzard.jpg

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11 hours ago, andrew900nyc said:

The judge then proceeded to lecture me for about ten minutes before dismissing my tickets after confirming that one-wheeled vehicles are not defined in the legal code and because the relevant statutes explicitly state "two wheeled, three wheeled, or four wheeled" vehicles. Had one-wheeled vehicles been classified, I would have been convicted and had to buck up a bunch of money. So be careful what you wish for (and/or try to obtain)!

THIS is why I hope to play in the 'shadows' until the legal system is forced to turn the lights on. I dont think I'd taunt anyone to test the theory, but without express legal code, theres a good chance you'll get to play and play. Just be mindfull that there are TONS of ways obscure laws can be interpreted. Being a danger or nuisance is definitely a blanket that could catch you, if you aint acting right.

Edited by ShanesPlanet
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