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Draper Journal

Where are hybrid vehicles allowed? City code struggles to keep up

Sep 07, 2023 02:48PM ● By Mimi Darley Dutton

The city has worked to define what is and isn’t legal with regard to the continually changing types of transportation available today in an effort to update city code and have police enforce the law. But the law is clear on golf carts—they are illegal to drive on city streets, sidewalks or trails. (Mimi Darley Dutton/City Journals)

Gone are the simple days of bikes, scooters and skateboards. With the myriad of motorized modes of transportation today, even young children are “driving” themselves to and from school and sports or band practice. With more vehicles of varying horsepower come more opportunities for safety problems and it’s difficult for city code and the police to keep up. 

“The new vehicles are a hybrid of motorcycles/bicycles/scooters. Some of them are battery operated while some are typical e-bike pedal assist. There’s such a wide variety it’s hard to clearly define what type of vehicle each is classified as. Then we have to decide which ones are allowed on streets, trails, sidewalks or all of them,” Draper City Manager David Dobbins said. 

The Draper City Council has been discussing this issue for months in an effort to try to clearly define for police and residents what is and is not legal.

“Our first goal is to educate the public about safety. We’re hoping that residents will see the value in being careful as they use the variety of things that are out there now, we want to make sure our residents feel safe on the trails and sidewalks and that residents are using those new vehicles appropriately,” Dobbins said.

In a video released by Draper City just before back-to-school on YouTube, Officer Rulon Green shared safety tips regarding e-bikes and electric scooters:

If your scooter or e-bike does not have pedals, you must ride it on the sidewalk; it cannot be on the road.

If you’re riding a scooter or e-bike, you must let pedestrians pass first. 

If on the sidewalk, you must be mindful of others, safe and careful. 

The city continues to remind the community that golf carts are illegal to operate on Draper roads, sidewalks and trails. In other words, the only place to drive a golf cart is on a golf course. λ