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Town amends ordinance

The Farmville Town Council unanimously voted to amend Town Code Ordinance Chapter 23 during its Dec. 11 meeting, adding a new section establishing regulations for the use and rental of motorized skateboards and scooters, electric personal assistive mobility devices for hire and electric power-assisted bicycles.

C. Scott Davis

Interim Town Manager, Dr. C. Scott Davis told the council that the new section recommendation stemmed from his attendance at the Virginia Municipal League’s (VML) conference.

According to Davis, at the end of 2019, any ability for a locality to regulate the permitting of motorized devices ended, and an amendment to the town’s code needed to be made.

Davis used the example of larger urban areas that have scooters for rent and how they can, at times, be seen laying on the sidewalks or individuals operating them on the sidewalks. “If a company decides to come to Farmville with these types of devices, individuals will have to conform to several standards,” he explained.

The amended section of the ordinance explains the differences between devices.

The ordinance states, “motorized skateboard or scooter means every vehicle, regardless of the number of its wheels in contact with the ground, that is designed to allow an operator to sit or stand, is powered in whole or in part by an electric motor, weighs less than 100 pounds, and has a speed of no more than 20 miles per hour on a paved level surface when powered solely by the electric motor.

The ordinance further states, “motorized skateboard or scooter includes vehicles with or without handlebars and an electric power-assisted bicycle vehicle that travels on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground and is equipped with pedals that allow propulsion by human power and an electric motor with an input of no more than 1,000 watts that reduces the pedal effort required of the rider and ceases to aid when the bicycle reaches a speed of no more than 20 miles per hour.

Under the new ordinance section, no person shall park a motorized skateboard or scooter or an electric personal assistive mobility device in a manner that impedes the normal movement of pedestrian or other traffic.

In addition, these types of devices may not be operated at speeds higher than 25 mph and must meet safety standards, requiring both a headlight and a taillight.

Violating this new section code could result in a civil penalty fine of $25.

For the complete detailed ordinance visit the Town of Farmville’s website at www.farmvilleva.com.