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Scott Henley

EUC’s and rhe police . US laws and ordinances.

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So I’ve beem wondering a lot lately about the legality of EUC usage here in the states. I’ve seen the post about them cracking down in London and heard that China basically has an all out ban on them in public areas so it makes me wonder about the good’ol USA. 

I am aware of the law protecting Segways , granting them permission to be ridden pretty much anywhere an electric wheelchair can go and basically considering them to be “pedestrians “. I also know that the reason Segway-Ninebot was able to do this is because they limited the speed too speed of most of their products to 12.5mph (roughly as fast as a human being would sprint ) .So obviously most EUC’s wouldn’t technically fall in this category.

I am the only person with an EUC in my town ...and as far as I know the only one in about 100miles . I commute to and from work everyday and the police office is 2 blocks from my house . Today I stared going and riding around the back parking lot of the PD/FD (they have cones and stuff that are fun to zig-zag through ?) and have had really positive responses from them. Even passed out my 2 remaining Ewheels business cards to the officers tonight since they seemed really interested in the wheel . Offered to let them try it out but they said they couldn’t because they were on duty . 

So with that all said I’m just wondering how law enforcement in other areas of the county react .

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2 hours ago, Scott Henley said:

So I’ve beem wondering a lot lately about the legality of EUC usage here in the states. I’ve seen the post about them cracking down in London and heard that China basically has an all out ban on them in public areas so it makes me wonder about the good’ol USA. 

I am aware of the law protecting Segways , granting them permission to be ridden pretty much anywhere an electric wheelchair can go and basically considering them to be “pedestrians “. I also know that the reason Segway-Ninebot was able to do this is because they limited the speed too speed of most of their products to 12.5mph (roughly as fast as a human being would sprint ) .So obviously most EUC’s wouldn’t technically fall in this category.

I am the only person with an EUC in my town ...and as far as I know the only one in about 100miles . I commute to and from work everyday and the police office is 2 blocks from my house . Today I stared going and riding around the back parking lot of the PD/FD (they have cones and stuff that are fun to zig-zag through ?) and have had really positive responses from them. Even passed out my 2 remaining Ewheels business cards to the officers tonight since they seemed really interested in the wheel . Offered to let them try it out but they said they couldn’t because they were on duty . 

So with that all said I’m just wondering how law enforcement in other areas of the county react .

There are a lot of officers on patrol in downtown St. Pete because it is more recreation than business with many events etc. I ridden past plenty. Some riding in their cars. Some sitting in Polaris ATVs. Some walking around. Some directing traffic or pedestrian crossings. Some working event roadblocks. Sometimes I speak to them if the situation warrants it (like "Can I ride around the waterfront you have blocked off for all but pedestrians for X event"). Many cops don't give it a second glance and just wave me on. One got really excited and told me it was "really cool". None have shown any negativity to me. Being a big tourist area we do have daily Segway tours in the city that go all over the place so I'm sure that has helped pave the way for me. St. Pete. is also a little....quirky. So weird shit is... well...normal.

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6 hours ago, WARPed1701D said:

There are a lot of officers on patrol in downtown St. Pete because it is more recreation than business with many events etc. I ridden past plenty. Some riding in their cars. Some sitting in Polaris ATVs. Some walking around. Some directing traffic or pedestrian crossings. Some working event roadblocks. Sometimes I speak to them if the situation warrants it (like "Can I ride around the waterfront you have blocked off for all but pedestrians for X event"). Many cops don't give it a second glance and just wave me on. One got really excited and told me it was "really cool". None have shown any negativity to me. Being a big tourist area we do have daily Segway tours in the city that go all over the place so I'm sure that has helped pave the way for me. St. Pete. is also a little....quirky. So weird shit is... well...normal.

That’s good to hear . I think for me , it’s such an oddity in these parts that they just don’t know what to make of it . We do have a few “rules” in town about hover boards being outlawed on sidewalks and in certain areas and I’m asked all the time “is that some new hover board ?”’ . I explain to them that it certainly is not , although some of the technology is the same but that it is most certainly not a toy and is in no way a risk for explosion . Lol 

@outcast00096 mentioned to me that he has had a bit of an issue with police while riding his 18s . Due to its size they think it’s some sort of motorcycle. 

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I did some research before getting into this, and for Texas;

* The closest regulation I found is TXDOT TITLE 7, SUBTITLE C, CH 551, Sub CH A (which is pretty close to our use), most TXDOT assumes 2 wheel vehicles in their alternative transportation, as this one does;


 

SUBCHAPTER C. ELECTRIC PERSONAL ASSISTIVE MOBILITY DEVICES

 

Sec. 551.201. DEFINITION. In this subchapter, "electric personal assistive mobility device" means a two non-tandem wheeled device designed for transporting one person that is:

(1) self-balancing; and

(2) propelled by an electric propulsion system with an average power of 750 watts or one horsepower.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1318, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 551.202. OPERATION ON ROADWAY. (a) A person may operate an electric personal assistive mobility device on a residential street, roadway, or public highway with a speed limit of 30 miles per hour or less only:

(1) while making a direct crossing of a highway in a marked or unmarked crosswalk;

(2) where no sidewalk is available; or

(3) when so directed by a traffic control device or by a law enforcement officer.

(b) A person may operate an electric personal assistive mobility device on a path set aside for the exclusive operation of bicycles.

(c) Any person operating an electric personal assistive mobility device on a residential street, roadway, or public highway shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand edge.

(d) Except as otherwise provided by this section, provisions of this title applicable to the operation of bicycles apply to the operation of electric personal assistive mobility devices.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1318, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 551.203. SIDEWALKS. A person may operate an electric personal assistive mobility device on a sidewalk.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1318, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

 

* I have had many many police officers see me and none have had any issues. IF they ever do say anything, I will cite the TXDOT reference, my MC license, cite the health benefits and the fact it keeps me off the road in a car. Many police have expressed interest in my device. I suggest a proactive approach. If you see an officer and have time to talk, say "HI!" and let him know what's going on. As long as you are going <=20mph you should have no problem. I imagine the only problems they might have is if they have to scrape you off the sidewalk, or if you run into someone.

* MANY business post signs prohibiting (mopeds,scateboards,etc), but most do not cite EUCs! ALL my municipality parks and sidewalks post that any motorized vehicle is prohibited. BUT, I've been riding them around here for about 10 years (EUC's and electric scooters), and never had an issue (in and around Austin area and other places).

 

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Another positive meeting for me this morning as I and a cop in a cruiser sat at a light on opposite sides of an intersection both turing to our respective lefts. I clearly indicated my intentions to him and he politely held back and signaled for me to go ahead when we both got a green light. :thumbup:

Edited by WARPed1701D

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2 hours ago, Circuitmage said:

SUBCHAPTER C. ELECTRIC PERSONAL ASSISTIVE MOBILITY DEVICES

Sec. 551.201. DEFINITION. In this subchapter, "electric personal assistive mobility device" means a two non-tandem wheeled device designed for transporting one person that is:

(1) self-balancing; and

(2) propelled by an electric propulsion system with an average power of 750 watts or one horsepower.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1318, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 551.202. OPERATION ON ROADWAY. (a) A person may operate an electric personal assisstive mobility device on a residential street, roadway, or public highway with a speed limit of 30 miles per hour or less only:

(b) A person may operate an electric personal assistive mobility device on a path set aside for the exclusive operation of bicycles.

(c) Any person operating an electric personal assistive mobility device on a residential street, roadway, or public highway shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand edge.

Sec. 551.203. SIDEWALKS. A person may operate an electric personal assistive mobility device on a sidewalk.

* MANY business post signs prohibiting (mopeds,scateboards,etc), but most do not cite EUCs! ALL my municipality parks and sidewalks post that any motorized vehicle is prohibited. BUT, I've been riding them around here for about 10 years (EUC's and electric scooters), and never had an issue (in and around Austin area and other places).

 

This looks very very close to what I have in St Louis, the difference being the top speed is limited to 22 mph. I have had occasion to use the regulation with cops with no problem but other people are a much bigger problem. For example, someone can be screaming at you to get off the trail, you can stop and show them the regulation, and they will glance at it and go back to screaming at you. Happened several times now, it is completely impossible to convince a well-educated white person what the law is by showing them the law, one might as well as argue a believer (or not) in man-caused global warming to switch sides.

I can kinda sorta not really get behind regulating eBikes to a certain speed limit as they have gotten much more popular around where I live (lots of Chinese students). I don't bitch to them about going fast because they always express interest in getting and learning an EUC, and invariably one of them knows another Chinese person who rides an EUC.

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5 hours ago, WARPed1701D said:

Another positive meeting for me this morning as I and a cop in a cruiser sat at a light on opposite sides of an intersection both turing to our respective lefts. I clearly indicated my intentions to him and he politely held back and signaled for me to go ahead when we both got a green light. :thumbup:

Meetings like this are very encouraging! I pass a cop probably every other day ...if not everyday on my commute to work and it’s always very friendly. I wave , they wave . We smile . It’s good . As I said , I’ve handed out ewheels cards to 2 officers in my area that expressed interest in EUC. I do my best to not go too fast in front of them though . Just to be on the safe side . ?

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It is great to know what the laws actually say in your area so that you can ensure you are not the ignorant one if challenged and can take the opportunity to educate others.  I had an interesting revelation reading through the Florida Statutes.

Florida Statutes 316.003(21) : 

Quote

ELECTRIC PERSONAL ASSISTIVE MOBILITY DEVICE.Any self-balancing, two-nontandem-wheeled device, designed to transport only one person, with an electric propulsion system with average power of 750 watts (1 horsepower), the maximum speed of which, on a paved level surface when powered solely by such a propulsion system while being ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds, is less than 20 miles per hour. Electric personal assistive mobility devices are not vehicles as defined in this section.

So this does not technically include an EUC since it specifically states two wheels.  But since it does not meet that definition, it could be included in the definition of a Motor Vehicle stated in Florida Statutes 316.003(40)

Quote

MOTOR VEHICLE.Except when used in s. 316.1001, a self-propelled vehicle not operated upon rails or guideway, but not including any bicycle, motorized scooter, electric personal assistive mobility device, personal delivery device, swamp buggy, or moped. For purposes of s. 316.1001, “motor vehicle” has the same meaning as provided in s. 320.01(1)(a).

Florida Statues 320.01(1)(a) defines a Motor Vehicle as:

Quote

An automobile, motorcycle, truck, trailer, semitrailer, truck tractor and semitrailer combination, or any other vehicle operated on the roads of this state, used to transport persons or property, and propelled by power other than muscular power, but the term does not include traction engines, road rollers, personal delivery devices as defined in s. 316.003, special mobile equipment as defined in s. 316.003, vehicles that run only upon a track, bicycles, swamp buggies, or mopeds.

This is an interesting dilemma because if you press the issue about it not being regulated as a electric mobility device, it could fall under a motor vehicle then it becomes flat out illegal to operate on the roadways or bike paths. 

 @Jason McNeil, what's your take on this since you are in Florida too?

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1 hour ago, Cranium said:

It is great to know what the laws actually say in your area so that you can ensure you are not the ignorant one if challenged and can take the opportunity to educate others.  I had an interesting revelation reading through the Florida Statutes.

Florida Statutes 316.003(21) : 

So this does not technically include an EUC since it specifically states two wheels.  But since it does not meet that definition, it could be included in the definition of a Motor Vehicle stated in Florida Statutes 316.003(40)

Florida Statues 320.01(1)(a) defines a Motor Vehicle as:

This is an interesting dilemma because if you press the issue about it not being regulated as a electric mobility device, it could fall under a motor vehicle then it becomes flat out illegal to operate on the roadways or bike paths. 

 @Jason McNeil, what's your take on this since you are in Florida too?

Oh wow . This does presence an issue . Well , if the issue is pushed it could . 

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8 hours ago, Circuitmage said:

I did some research before getting into this, and for Texas;

* The closest regulation I found is TXDOT TITLE 7, SUBTITLE C, CH 551, Sub CH A (which is pretty close to our use), most TXDOT assumes 2 wheel vehicles in their alternative transportation, as this one does;



 

SUBCHAPTER C. ELECTRIC PERSONAL ASSISTIVE MOBILITY DEVICES

 

Sec. 551.201. DEFINITION. In this subchapter, "electric personal assistive mobility device" means a two non-tandem wheeled device designed for transporting one person that is:

(1) self-balancing; and

(2) propelled by an electric propulsion system with an average power of 750 watts or one horsepower.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1318, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 551.202. OPERATION ON ROADWAY. (a) A person may operate an electric personal assistive mobility device on a residential street, roadway, or public highway with a speed limit of 30 miles per hour or less only:

(1) while making a direct crossing of a highway in a marked or unmarked crosswalk;

(2) where no sidewalk is available; or

(3) when so directed by a traffic control device or by a law enforcement officer.

(b) A person may operate an electric personal assistive mobility device on a path set aside for the exclusive operation of bicycles.

(c) Any person operating an electric personal assistive mobility device on a residential street, roadway, or public highway shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand edge.

(d) Except as otherwise provided by this section, provisions of this title applicable to the operation of bicycles apply to the operation of electric personal assistive mobility devices.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1318, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Sec. 551.203. SIDEWALKS. A person may operate an electric personal assistive mobility device on a sidewalk.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1318, Sec. 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

 

* I have had many many police officers see me and none have had any issues. IF they ever do say anything, I will cite the TXDOT reference, my MC license, cite the health benefits and the fact it keeps me off the road in a car. Many police have expressed interest in my device. I suggest a proactive approach. If you see an officer and have time to talk, say "HI!" and let him know what's going on. As long as you are going <=20mph you should have no problem. I imagine the only problems they might have is if they have to scrape you off the sidewalk, or if you run into someone.

* MANY business post signs prohibiting (mopeds,scateboards,etc), but most do not cite EUCs! ALL my municipality parks and sidewalks post that any motorized vehicle is prohibited. BUT, I've been riding them around here for about 10 years (EUC's and electric scooters), and never had an issue (in and around Austin area and other places).

 

The issue I see here is the stated wattage limit . 3 years ago all EUC would pretty much fall under this , but now most have a higher output than 750w. And I suppose at present you could argue a case but just as with anything else new , eventually as EUC gain in popularity and populous authorities might become well versed in brands , models and specs . 

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I got 5 or 6 warnings from my local township police - this is due to my township local ordinance prohibiting all electric mobility devices and scooters. Sooner or later they will be fed up with me and will issue a ticket, I think - not sure what I'm going to do.

https://ecode360.com/10303420

 

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11 hours ago, trya said:

I got 5 or 6 warnings from my local township police - this is due to my township local ordinance prohibiting all electric mobility devices and scooters. Sooner or later they will be fed up with me and will issue a ticket, I think - not sure what I'm going to do.

https://ecode360.com/10303420

Does that mean a disabled (or not) visitor of the town is not permitted to operate an electric wheelchair?

Edited by Mono

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32 minutes ago, Mono said:

Does that mean a disabled (or not) visitor of the town is not permitted to operate an electric wheelchair?

That’s a good question. I’ll be interested in how that all works . NC has a similar law in  Pinehurst. What’s getting me is a personal mobility device as defined by law is a 2 wheeled vehicle . And an electric bike must have a seat . So really I fall under “motor vehicle “ and that will present an issue if anything arises from my riding around town . I think it’s time to start lobbying to get EUC laws passed before we get outlawed under the existing statutes. 

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16 hours ago, Scott Henley said:

The issue I see here is the stated wattage limit . 3 years ago all EUC would pretty much fall under this , but now most have a higher output than 750w. And I suppose at present you could argue a case but just as with anything else new , eventually as EUC gain in popularity and populous authorities might become well versed in brands , models and specs . 

It states average power.  Not peak power.  The average power used is much lower so 750w average would be quite fast (>20mph at least)

 


 

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5 hours ago, Mono said:

Does that mean a disabled (or not) visitor of the town is not permitted to operate an electric wheelchair?

Disabled persons are covered by Federal Law.  ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) covers any type of personal assistance mobility device and allows their use wherever people can walk.  They even mention use of Segways and state there are newer technologies so EUCs would fall under here if you have a disability.

https://www.ada.gov/opdmd.htm

 

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This is such a complicated situation that it's hard to say with any certainty what the legal situation is. The 2001-era changes that Segway lobbied for in state laws generally uses the term EPAMD says things like "two non-tandem wheels" and "maximum speed of X mph". That could potentially be used to ban an EUC because we only have one wheel; they just didn't anticipate a one-wheeled device and Segway didn't care about it at the time. However, it seems that law enforcement in many jurisdictions is not splitting hairs about this. As far as maximum speed goes, I think it's like a car in that it won't be a problem unless you go faster than that and cause problems by doing so.

Some jurisdictions like the District of Columbia define the term Personal Mobility Device (PMD) as a "motorized device capable of carrying one person" which definitely includes the EUC, yay. But you're not supposed to ride an EUC in the downtown area of DC, it can only be used on the bike lanes. However, several parts of downtown near the White House, Capitol, and monuments are actually under the jurisdiction of other groups such as the Secret Service or National Capitol Police or the Park Police. The only time we've been hassled if when we were in the central part of a monument, otherwise they don't seem to care and at least a couple of police told us that EUCs were allowed anywhere bikes or Segway tours are allowed.

In general, cities and local parks can have entirely different rules than whatever state they're in.  Maryland allows them on public sidewalks. Maryland National Capital Parks specifically say they only allow EPAMDs if you have proof of disability such as a parking placard. On the other hand, I once rode a county trail in Anne Arundel county where they also said you had to be disabled to use one but were not allowed to ask for proof of disability!  The city of Boston specifically banned them in 2015. Now, since an EPAMD is defined as a two-wheel device could you argue that it doesn't apply to an EUC? Someone in Boston try it and let us know.

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Using a disabled card in order to ride an EUC wherever we please is morally superior than buying a service dog vest off Amazon for your pet.

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5 hours ago, LanghamP said:

Using a disabled card in order to ride an EUC wherever we please is morally superior than buying a service dog vest off Amazon for your pet.

They're both cheating. :D

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2 hours ago, dmethvin said:

They're both cheating. :D

Unless they aren't cheating.  There are some real disabilities where an EUC could be an actual an aid; and needing a real service dog is not cheating either.

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New technology is always disruptive.  Or... the more things change, the more they stay the same 

 

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan-history/2015/04/26/auto-traffic-history-detroit/26312107/

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The police are almost never the problem. They have more important things to do. However, if they are told to crack down because of increasing numbers, complaints, or hooligan behavior, they will. This is almost universal. In the  USA our best move would be to get the "Segway" definitions changed to include one wheel devices and  speed restriction to remain 12.5 mph for sidewalk use but allow for 20-25 mph for bike lanes and trails. Ninebot now owns Segway so hopefully they could get it done, perhaps in a joint effort with the "made in America" ONEWheel. Getting euc's included in ANY legal category should be the goal and not worry about speed or power restrictions.  They can be ... handled. I rode well over 25,000 miles during the lead-acid electric kick scooter era. I never had a complaint from anyone, including the police and park guards. Then cheap 2-stroke gas goped type scooters appeared and complaints started. The end results was electric kick scooters are banned in the entire state of PA. Enforcement was immediate, sharp and brutal. The same understanding police officers were force to enforce the letter of the law. Eucs and e-SK8s are now where e-scooters were years ago. Public demonstration of high speeds or reckless behavior will lead to the same results. 

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So in PA there's no separate definition for Electrically Motorized Boards like we have here in California since 2016? But according to the letter of the law, most higher end EUCs technically don't even meet the definition of EMBs due to their power and speed.

https://local.nixle.com/alert/5562087/

I'm more worried about places that explicitly state the words "No Motorized Vehicles" or even more specific motorized bicycles, like on Piers and certain hiking paths. I think EMBs fall under a motorized vehicle but I can't be sure. Motorized, Motor, po-ta-to po-tah-to

DIVISION 1. WORDS AND PHRASES DEFINED [100 - 681]

  ( Division 1 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

  

415.  

(a) A “motor vehicle” is a vehicle that is self-propelled.

(b) “Motor vehicle” does not include a self-propelled wheelchair, motorized tricycle, or motorized quadricycle, if operated by a person who, by reason of physical disability, is otherwise unable to move about as a pedestrian.

 

Screen Shot 2018-07-14 at 10.30.21 AM.png

Edited by maltocs

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17 minutes ago, maltocs said:

(a) A “motor vehicle” is a vehicle that is self-propelled.

(b) “Motor vehicle” does not include a self-propelled wheelchair, motorized tricycle, or motorized quadricycle, if operated by a person who, by reason of physical disability, is otherwise unable to move about as a pedestrian.

 

self propelled vehicle   - No loop holes there.  ...........    Unless????  

My state's laws say that a vehicle has TWO or more wheels and an engine or motor. (segway excluded) 

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