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Tempe OKs new rules for electric scooters, bikes

(Getty Images Photo/Justin Sullivan)

PHOENIX – Tempe city leaders approved new rules to improve safety for e-scooter and bike riders and pedestrians, starting with keeping them off sidewalks as much as possible.

The City Council voted on the measures at its Aug. 15 meeting. The changes will go into effect in less than a month.

“After months of work and public input, I am thrilled that the council unanimously supported these new rules,” Councilman Randy Keating said in a statement released after the vote.

Rules for e-riders, who have to be at at least 16, include staying in bike lanes.

Other rules; if there is no bike lane, the riders can get on sidewalks if the speed limit is more than 25 mph; if the speed limit is under 25 mph, riders have to stay in the street; and riding with the flow of traffic.

An exception to riders sticking to the street was made for minors on standard bikes. Those underage riders can use the sidewalk with a parent’s consent and parents can ride on the sidewalk with them.

Riders younger than 18 will be required to wear a helmet whenever they’re “operating a human-powered or non-human-powered vehicle.”

The regulations move the dial forward a bit more on the East Valley city’s Vision Zero Action policy, which was approved in May.

The plan used crash data and identified strategies that they hope will put an end to the number of fatal and serious wrecks.

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