This holiday season many parents will buy their children motorized scooters or miniature motorcycles (Pocket Bikes). Before they do, there are some things they need to know, and how these “toys ” are viewed by law enforcement.
A motorized scooter is any two wheeled device with handlebars, is designed to be stood on or sat upon, and is powered by either a gas or electric motor. Motorized scooters can only be driven on streets with a posted speed of 25 mph or less, and the operator must be 16 years old with a valid California Drivers License or instruction permit. They cannot be operated on the sidewalk, and the City of Santa Clarita does not allow any motorized vehicle on the bike paths or Paseos. Bike helmets are also required to be worn, and passengers are not allowed.
The Pocket Bike was designed for race track usage in Europe. The manufacturers of the Pocket Bikes market them for private property use; however, many people ride them on public streets, sidewalks and parking lots. This is illegal. Riders are subject to the same penalties as an unlicenced driver, and the bikes are subject to impound. Due to their small size and the fact they do not have required safety equipment, they pose an extreme hazard to both the operator and other vehicles on the road. Because they are classified as a motor vehicle, they are subject to the same registration and licensing requirements as full size motorcycles.
The California Highway Patrol joins the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in helping parents make the right choice for sensible gifts this holiday season. Any additional questions regarding either of these “toys” can call Detective Robert Smoldt of the Santa Clarita Sheriff Station (661) 799-5111, or CHP Officer Wendy Hann (661) 294-5540.