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HomeSpotlight Story | Bird’s Eye View | Budget & Taxes | Politics & Leadership | Governors | Hot Issues | Once Around the Statehouse Lightly
Electronic scooters could return to Massachusetts if a new proposal from Gov. Charlie Baker (R) eventually becomes law.
The rapidly growing e-scooter craze hit a roadblock in Massachusetts last year when several cities ordered scooter-sharing company Bird to cease operations over a state law requiring any motorized vehicle to have both brake lights and turn signals, features e-scooters rarely possess.
The wide-ranging road safety plan Baker unveiled last week would, among several things, change the law to regulate e-scooters and electric “pedal-assist” bicycles in the same way the state treats standard human-powered bikes.
It would also impose a handful of new requirements, including a mandate for riders under age 16 to wear a helmet. Riders would also be required to yield to pedestrians and to provide some form of audible notice when they are passing another vehicle. It would also be illegal for riders to leave their scooters where they might block traffic or sidewalks.
Baker’s proposal further directs state transportation officials to establish a “micro-mobility advisory working group” to consider possible regulations for future “emerging and undefined low speed mobility devices.”
Scooters were not Baker’s only focus. He also called for allowing police to pull drivers over for not wearing their seat belts and requiring all electronic devices to be used only in hands-free mode when someone is behind the wheel.
The proposals now go to lawmakers.
“We look forward to working with our colleagues in the Legislature to pass this comprehensive road safety bill into law,” Baker said in a statement. (MASSLIVE.COM, BOSTON HERALD, STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE [BOSTON])