Nassau County Presiding Officer Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury) announced this week a law restricting the use of motorized scooters, ATVs and pocket bikes in Nassau County. The law was approved by the legislature unanimously. Known as the “MARK SATTLER LAW,” the law was named in memory of a 12-year-old Levittown boy killed upstate in an ATV accident last year.
The law prohibits the use of these vehicles on any highway, parking lot, shopping center, parking area, sidewalk, street and other public area in the county. The use of these vehicles would be restricted to private property. In addition, the law also calls truth in selling from retailers, who must inform buyers of these restrictions.
“Scooters were originally designed for human power and low-speed operation,” Jacobs said. “Their motorized counterparts travel up to 40 miles per hour and cannot be maneuvered safely at these speeds and can be difficult to control. It is imperative to remember the dangers of motorized scooters.”
Jacobs added that the operation of motorized scooters in the County presents a growing risk to the life and health of scooter operators, motorists, and pedestrians. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 4,390 emergency room-treated injuries associated with motorized scooters in the year 2000. Then in 2002 motorized scooters sent about 5,900 people nationwide to emergency rooms, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. In addition, almost 40 percent of injuries from the scooters are suffered by people under 15 years old, said a commission spokesman.
Motorized scooters, sometimes called "mini-scooters” to differentiate them from larger, legal mopeds, are powered by gas or electricity and stand about 3 feet tall. They have T-shaped handlebars, are sometimes equipped with a small seat and can travel up to 40 miles per hour.
“Since 2005, I have been working diligently to move forward legislation to ban these dangerous scooters,” Jacobs said. “I believe that this law will eradicate these scooters from public streets and curtail their use.”