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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Council bill would restrict scooters

By Robbie Dingeman
Advertiser City Hall Writer

Those motorized scooters — loved by many teens but loathed by other people for their noisy motors — would be outlawed on Honolulu's streets and sidewalks under a bill proposed by City Councilman Romy Cachola.

Cachola said he introduced a bill yesterday to restrict the scooters this week at the request of Honolulu police and residents from the Salt Lake and Moanalua communities. The bill would allow scooters only on private property, or on sidewalks with their motors off.

Moanalua Valley resident T. Leilani Akana Ramsey said young scooter riders often dart in and out of traffic, endangering themselves and others and creating a noisy nuisance.

"Change the law or somebody's child is going to end up dead," said Ramsey.

Over at Scooter Alley Hawai'i, a shop in McCully, chief executive officer Albert T. Young said banning the scooters from the sidewalks would outlaw a form of transportation used by thousands of people too young to drive.

Young said he believes that they can be regulated and that police can crack down on problems using existing law, which prohibits them from driving on the street already.

Young said the scooters can go 15 to 25 mph and cost $200 to $800.

"Thousands of families have invested a lot in these things," Young said.

But Steven Onoue, president of the Moanalua Valley Community Association, said his neighborhood is worried about the scooter drivers. "They race up and down our valley," he said. "Many times they go so fast that the people that are backing out of their driveways, they don't see them."