LEVA's proposed changes to the California Vehicle Code
The Light Electric Vehicle Association (LEVA) proposed changes to the CVC. LEVA's goal is stated in the Introduction: "To promote zero-emission, domestically-powered, appropriately-sized electric vehicles, the Light Electric Vehicle Association recommends changes to the CVC that will simplify the rules, reduce barriers, and fairly treat LEVs as viable transportation alternatives."
After meeting in February with Senate Transportation and Housing Committee Chairman Mark DeSaulnier, his staffer put me in touch with the Committee's Chief Consultant, Carrie Cornwell. After a conversation with the California Highway Patrol's Office of Special Representative, both Ms. Cornwell and the CHP agree that CVC changes are in order. Ms. Cornwell called to advise me the she and her counterpart in the Assembly will start the ball rolling on CVC changes in May with an expected stakeholders meeting in September and legislation of some sort to be proposed in January, 2013.
LEVA believes that all cyclists and pedestrians will benefit from more LEVs on the road and fewer cars. Here are links to two documents that 1) provide an introduction and summary of the proposed changes, 2) specifically detail the CVC code sections to change, and 3) a spreadsheet overview of existing law and the changes proposed:
All considered, these changes simplify the rules for smaller, slower vehicles - making them easier for enforcement personnel and the general public to know and remember. In particular, "motorized scooters" will be treated the same as bicycles because both 1) weigh about the same, 2) travel at similar speeds, 3) maneuver with similar agility, 4) are clean and quiet. These changes along with the introduction of medium-speed vehicles to California roads will encourage smaller, cleaner vehicles that make cycling safer and more enjoyable.
Comments from stakeholders, both individuals and organizations, are welcomed and will be passed along.
Rob Means, Legislative Advisor
Light Electric Vehicle Association LLC
1421 Yellowstone Ave., Milpitas, CA 95035-6913
Serving the LEV Industry, www.LEVAssociation.com
What's your definition of a "scooter"? Try this: go to google, enter search term "scooter" and click on the image tab. You'll see a whole bunch of widely different vehicles that someone somewhere thinks of as a "scooter".
I wish there was a better definition for each of these types of vehicle. It sure would make "messaging" easier!!
In particular, "motorized scooters" will be treated the same as bicycles because both 1) weigh about the same, 2) travel at similar speeds, 3) maneuver with similar agility, 4) are clean and quiet.
John is exactly right, the definition of 'scooter' is critical here. My 'scooter' weighs over 500lbs, has a 600cc 50hp engine, and a top speed over 100mph. Clearly, it's not the type of scooter you are referring to, but it's precisely the type of vehicle the DOT refers to as a 'scooter'.
Unfortunately I don't have a good alternative for you. However, the CVC would appear to be in conflict with the FMVSS on their definition of "scooter". In the FMVSS section on braking they define a scooter as a motorcycle with a step through design (I don't have the FMVSS to hand so can't give the exact wording). In the FMVSS they use this definition to state that only scooters are allowed to have two hand brakes - motorcycles must have a hand brake for the front and a foot brake for the rear. Incidentally, a major gas manufacturer had to recently recall their product because it ran afoul of this (they had a motorcycle with a CVT and no foot brake.
From my perspective I wish that we could minimize the proliferation of different definitions of "scooter" within our various legal codes - however I doubt that there's much that can be done.
I also consider scooter as a motorcycle, it 's similar to bycyle