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No mopeds on sidewalks, please

City cops issue reminder on what can ride on trails

By: Kevin Ma

  |  Posted: Saturday, Jun 14, 2014 06:00 am

NICE AND LEGAL – No motor makes this scooter legal on sidewalks and trails. If it had a motor, it would be prohibited on public property.
NICE AND LEGAL – No motor makes this scooter legal on sidewalks and trails. If it had a motor, it would be prohibited on public property.
FILE PHOTO/St. Albert Gazette

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Know the rules

Look up the Rules and Regulations Applying to Small Vehicles at www.transportation.alberta.ca.

Mopeds and electric scooter riders should stay off city trails and sidewalks, says a local bylaw officer – it’s the law.

The Gazette has received several reports in recent weeks about people riding mopeds and electric scooters on trails and sidewalks in St. Albert.

It’s illegal to ride such vehicles on public trails and sidewalks, said Garnet Melnyk, municipal enforcement officer with the City of St. Albert.

“If it doesn’t have pedals, it can’t be on the sidewalk,” he says.

St. Albert allows people to ride bicycles on the sidewalk provided they are used in a responsible manner – i.e. riders are wearing helmets and yielding to pedestrians, Melnyk says. Riders must still dismount and walk their bikes through crosswalks, he adds.

Reckless cyclists can be fined up to $100.

Large sit-down scooters used by people with a physical disability are also allowed on sidewalks and trails. These devices, which typically have a top speed of less than five kilometres an hour, are classified as mobility aids and are allowed on all trails and sidewalks.

Scooters that are primarily pedal-powered are also allowed. Bikes with a gas or electric-assist motor are classified as powered bicycles and are treated as bicycles in Alberta. Riders must wear motorcycle helmets, however.

Mopeds are classified as motor vehicles in Alberta and can only be used on streets, Melnyk continues. These vehicles must be registered, and their riders must wear a helmet and possess at least a Class Seven (learner’s) license.

Electric scooters without pedals (of the style with a low skateboard-like platform) are classified as prohibited miniature vehicles in Alberta and not permitted on any public trail, sidewalk or street, reports Alberta Transportation. Also banned are Segways, golf carts, pocket bikes, go-carts and motorized skateboards.

Anyone who uses one of these vehicles on a trail or sidewalk without authorization can be fined $230.

City resident Elke Blodgett says she’s frustrated by the province’s rules on electric scooters, as they ban small sit-down models she would like to use as a mobility aid. Meanwhile, young children appear to be allowed to use similar scooters without repercussions.

These sorts of scooters will become more popular as the baby-boom generation gets older, says Mayor Nolan Crouse.

“Certainly the low-speed scooters are not a risk,” he says.

“At some point in time, we need to adjust the bylaw.”


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