TRENTON – The Senate today unanimously approved a measure sponsored by Senator Joseph Coniglio that would allow New Jerseyans with mobility-related disabilities to use motorized scooters on public property.
“For some people, these scooters serve as their only means of transportation,” said Senator Coniglio, D-Bergen. “These scooters are different from the pocket bikes that have caused quite a few deaths throughout the State and the Nation over the past few years. The goal of this legislation is to enable physically impaired New Jerseyans with a legitimate need for these scooters to live more independently, and handle their everyday affairs without having to rely on others for assistance.”
Senator Coniglio’s measure, S-1074, would exempt people with a mobility-related disability from the law prohibiting the operation of motorized scooters on public streets, highways, sidewalks and other property. Currently, motorized scooters and skateboards are prohibited from being used on public roads because they are so low to the ground, making them less visible to motorists.
Under the bill, the scooters would be required to be operated on roadways with a speed limit of 35 mph or below. Scooter operators would be required to affix a sticker to their identification cards, indicating that they are permitted to operate the scooter, and to register the vehicle in the municipality where they live. Insurance would be required as a condition of vehicle registration, and scooter operators would also be required to wear helmets.
This measure was approved by the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee on May 11. It now heads to the Assembly for consideration.