Grand Forks residents and council members express concern about scooters

Locals and members of Grand Forks city council have raised concerns about electric and gas scooters.

Safety concerns were raised about electric and gas scooters at the last city council meeting on April 16.

Resident Les Johnson raised the issue of how there is an increase in drivers without licences on scooters and electric bicycles on the highways and roads.

“What I’m noticing and have heard is that if you’ve lost your licence, you can get a scooter and still be on the road,” he said. “I’m not sure how the regulations work with why these vehicles aren’t considered motor vehicles like a motorcycle. As far as I’m concerned they’re still on a motorized vehicle driving on the road.”

Johnson first noticed the issue when someone driving a scooter was driving on the opposite side of the road in the bicycle lane.

“There are still rules to the road and (the person) was riding against the traffic,” he said. “If they could only go as fast as a bicycle, my only issue would then be that they drive anywhere they want.”

Mayor Brian Taylor agreed that there was a problem.

“We’re having difficulties with people’s behaviour on the electric and gas scooters,” he said. “Some of the people out there that are driving on them aren’t responsible.”

Taylor noted a typical example is somebody losing his or her licence because of visual problems.

“But now they’re riding a scooter with no helmet and no license, and no ability to cover insurance if they hit somebody,” he stated.

“Clearly we need to talk about this more because they’ve become so prevalent on our highway.”

Grand Forks RCMP Staff Sgt. Jim Harrison stated there has been an increase of scooters in the community.

“We’ve had the odd report come up with individuals not operating the scooter in a safe manner, but we haven’t had any accidents,” he added. “There’s definitely some concern regarding safety and the operators operating them in a safe manner.”

Electronic or gas scooters still fall under the Motor Vehicle Act and must follow the rules of the roads, which is the same as a bicycle, Harrison pointed out.

“If we receive a complaint about an individual operating one of them in an unlawful manner, then we’ll deal with it,” he concluded.

Grand Forks Gazette