Officials remind citizens of scooter laws

October 15, 2021 | Featured|Headlines

PONCA CITY — Officials are reminding citizens that the Bird Scooters now available in town are classified as “Motorized Scooters” under Oklahoma Statute and are subject to the same laws as bicycles. 

The scooters can be ridden on the roadways and sidewalks, with exceptions including 14th Street since it is state highway, as well as the sidewalks in the business district downtown.

State statute declares that every person riding a bicycle or motorized scooter upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle. This means riders must obey traffic signs and signals, and must follow the same safety rules as vehicle drivers, including the rules governing right of way at uncontrolled intersections, turning, and lane changes. Likewise, drivers of vehicles need to give way to the scooters and bicycles just as they would other vehicles.

If a scooter is ridden on the sidewalk, riders must follow the same rules for crossing streets and intersections. On the sidewalks, riders must give way to pedestrians, as the pedestrians have right of way on the sidewalks.

Since scooters are treated the same as bicycles under state statutes, scooters are not required to have a tag nor insurance, and riders are not required to have a driver’s license. Some specific rules that apply to motorized scooters include the fact that they are designed for one rider and that they can’t be ridden between lanes of traffic.

Bird requires riders to be 18 years of age or older upon agreement to create a rider account. Parents and guardians need to be aware that the use of the scooters requires acceptance of a liability waiver/contract by the rider, and they could be held legally liable for the actions of juveniles under their care if they are riding unsafely and/or damage others’ property. Parents and guardians may also be cited for the actions of the juveniles under their care if the juvenile riders violate any statutes or ordinances.

Private property owners have the right to ask riders to leave their property, especially if the riders are operating the scooters in a manner that creates unsafe conditions or damages their private property.

The Ponca City Police Department encourages all those who ride the Bird Scooters to be safe and adhere to all applicable statutes and ordinances. Please also respect the safety and property of others. 

Bird’s E-Scooter Safety Guide provides a responsible riding how-to:

  • You must be 18 or older to ride.
  • Only one rider per Bird.
  • Ensure you stick to riding in bike lanes or in the road; do not ride on the sidewalk.
  • Bird e-scooters are calibrated to go no faster than 15 mph to maintain a safe speed.  Always start slow and at a speed that you feel comfortable with.
  • Keep both hands on the bars. 
  • Ensure you place both feet on the footboard at all times while riding.
  • Wear a helmet.
  • If something isn’t right, tell Bird through the Bird app or email
  • Park responsibly and at bike racks where possible. Do not block doorways, ramps, sidewalks or right of way.

See related story