Democrats want electric scooters to be licensed under motor vehicle law

Three Georgia Democrats have filed legislation to regulate personal assistive mobility devices under the Georgia Motor Vehicle code.

Democrat Senators Donzella James, Michael Rhett, and Harold Jones filed Senate Bill 24 on the devices last week.

Senator Donzella James, Photo: Twitter
Senator Harold Jones, Photo: Georgia State Senate
Senator Michael Rhett, Photo: Georgia State Senate

Electric personal assistive mobility devices are power-assisted devices for mobility such as wheelchairs, scooters, and more recent innovations such as the Segway™ Human Transporter. These devices are used by persons who are partially or completely immobile and also for fun, depending on the device.

The proposal, if passed, would directly impact the Bird, Lime, Skip, Spin, and similar brand scooters gaining traction in cities around the state and nation.

The new proposal amends OCGA 40-2-20 to read that “every owner of a motor vehicle, including a tractor, electric personal assistive mobility device not provided for in subsection (b) of this Code section, or motorcycle, and every owner of a trailer shall, during the owner’s registration period in each year, register such vehicle as provided in this chapter and obtain a license to operate it for the 12 month period until such person’s next registration period.”

Scooter users, those who use wheelchairs without a handicap permit, and Segway riders would be required to register their devices with the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicles the same way cars and trucks are registered annually. The burden would be on the owner of the device. The bill does not prescribe an annual fee, which would likely be set by the respective state agency, but does cite code section for required license plates for identification.

Current law excludes mopeds and golf carts from the registration guidelines.

Senate Bill 24 would provide an exception for any mobility device of a “holder of a handicapped parking permit issued by the Department of Revenue and such owner is operating such electric powered personal transportation vehicle.”

The bill has been assigned to the Senate Public Safety committee.

To read Senate Bill 24, click here)

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Raleigh
Raleigh

About dang time they made those old people register their Hoveround’s. Maybe they will include Bicycles too! This advertisement brought to you by the TAX MORE and Govern less lobby…..

bethebalance
bethebalance

Certainly seems overbroad. I’m guessing that the general idea was to utilize the existing regulatory infrastructure for efficiency’s sake, but why not just specify that it’s assistive devices that are primarily owned and operated for rental or sale purposes? That way no Mom, Pop, or Sonny need to register toys or recreational or personal assistive devices. But it makes sense to keep track of scooters that are out and about on the streets, and maybe even dedicate the registration fees to an insurance fund, or to build racks, or put up signage about helmets…