Chesterton Tribune

Scooters bring promise and peril

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Voice of the People

 

High gasoline prices.

Scooters.

Adolescents.

Combined, they might be a sensible transportation solution ... or a formula for tragedy.

I think I see the latter, rather than the former, in action far too often.

Some adolescents here in town and elsewhere are seriously irresponsible in their scooter-driving technique. Yes, the helmets and the scooters themselves are quite cool; however, the manner of driving of the young owners is not.

For example, they exceed the speed limit; they pass on the right; they make illegal u-turns; they blow through stop signs; they make abrupt, unsignaled turns; they threaten pedestrians crossing streets (especially senior citizens); they cause drivers of automobiles no end of concern for the safety of all.

Scooter use is a serious matter that needs serious review as more and more of these vehicles appear on the roads because of the cost of fuel.

Parents, you seriously should make sure the scooter-driver in your family knows the courtesies and rules of the road. Police officers, you seriously should stop these reckless young drivers and, perhaps, confiscate their machines.

Because I have never owned a two-wheel motorized vehicle, I do not know what laws and requirements are in place for their operation. However, I do believe that anyone ... anyone ... who drives a motorized vehicle on roads used by vehicles in general should be educated on vehicle operation, driving courtesy, and traffic laws; he should be tested for his vehicle-operation knowledge; he should be state-licensed and his vehicle state-plated, no matter what its horsepower level; and he should be subject to all state laws regarding the safe and civil operation of a motorized vehicle.

Driving these small motorized gems should be rewarding and fun; let's not let a potentially good and “fuel-sensible” transportation experience turn into tragedy.

John Hayduk

 

Posted 7/30/2008