SECTION 1. Section 1 of Chapter 90 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2000 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following new definition:—
“Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Device” or “EPAMD” means a self-balancing, two non-tandem wheeled device, designed to transport only one person, with an electric propulsion system whose maximum speed on a paved level surface is 12.5 miles per hour or less.”
The definition of “Motor Vehicles” in Section 1 of said Chapter 90, as so appearing, is further amended by inserting in line 162 after the word “bicycles” the following words: “or Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Device” or “EPAMD”.
SECTION 2. Said Chapter 90 is hereby further amended by inserting after Section 1D the following section:—Section 1E. “Nothing in this chapter or in the Massachusetts General Laws shall be construed to limit the operation of an EPAMD on all public ways in the Commonwealth including sidewalks, bikeways, bike lanes, bike routes, bike paths, and roadways where the posted speed limit does not exceed 35mph in the commonwealth except in the following manner:An EPAMD shall not be operated on limited access and express state highways
An EPAMD operated on a sidewalk within a business district shall not exceed the speed of 5mph; an operator of an EPAMD wishing to travel at a speed higher in such an area must travel in a designated bike lane path, way or route as defined in MGL Ch. 90E § 1; or if one is not available, in a roadway where the posted speed limit does not exceed 35mph in a manner not to endanger themselves or obstruct vehicle traffic.
An EPAMD operated in a roadway of the Commonwealth shall be subject to the traffic laws and regulations of the Commonwealth except that: (1) an EPAMD operator must keep to the right when passing a motor vehicle which is moving in the travel lane of the way, (2) the EPAMD operator shall signal by either hand his intention to stop or turn
An EPAMD operator shall ride single file on any way except when passing and must give an audible signal.
No person shall operate an EPAMD on a sidewalk at a speed which is greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, and pedestrians or which endangers the safety of persons or property.
A person operating an EPAMD on a sidewalk shall yield the right-of-way to all foot pedestrians including persons with disabilities using assistive devices or service animals.
No person under the age of 16 shall operate an EPAMD
No person shall operate an EPAMD with a footprint greater than 20 inches deep and 25 inches wide on a sidewalk nor shall any person operate an EPAMD in the Commonwealth that has been altered beyond the manufacturers specification.
An EPAMD may be operated at night provided the device or its operator is equipped with or wearing a lamp pointing to the front that emits a white light visible from a distance of not less than three hundred (300) feet and front, rear and side reflectors.
A person may not operate an EPAMD while carrying any package, bundle, or other article that prevents the person from keeping both hands on the handlebars and interferes with their ability to safely operate the EPAMD; only one person shall operate an EPAMD at a time.
A person may not park his EPAMD upon a way or sidewalk in such a manner as not to obstruct vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
The operator of an EPAMD shall report any accident involving either personal injury or property damage in excess of one hundred dollars, or both, to the police department in the city or town in which the accident occurred.Failure to obey subsections (a) thru (l) shall result in a shall be punished by a fine of not more than $25 for the first violation, not less than $25 nor more than $50 for a second violation and not less than $50 nor more than $100 and impoundment for up to 30 days for a third or subsequent violation. Any and all fees for the storage, processing and release of the impounded EPAMD shall be assessed against the operator of the EPAMD. Such fees must be paid in full by the operator of the EPAMD prior to release of the impounded EPAMD.
No person shall distribute or sell an electric personal assistive mobility device unless the device is accompanied by a written statement that is substantially equivalent to the following: “WARNING: TO REDUCE THE RISK OF SERIOUS INJURY, USE ONLY WHILE WEARING FULL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT INCLUDING HELMETS.”
No person who distributes or sells electric personal assistive mobility devices who complies with the requirements of division of this section shall be liable in damages in a civil action brought by or on behalf of the operator of an electric personal assistive mobility device for any injury, death, or loss to person or property suffered by the operator that allegedly arises from, or is related to, the operation of an electric personal assistive mobility device by the operator and the operator failed to wear a helmet.
Nothing under current state, county or local law shall regulate an EPAMD as a vehicle, motor vehicle, motor scooter, motorized bicycle or bicycle, as defined under MGL Ch. 90. However, any state or county agency and municipality having jurisdiction over public streets, sidewalks, alleys, bridges, state-wide trail systems, recreational roads and other ways of public passage may by traffic control devices or ordinance further regulate the time, place, and manner of the operation of an EPAMD including prohibiting their use entirely.
An EPAMD shall not require a license plate or be registered by the registry of motor vehicles. However the provisions for bicycles under MGL Ch. 85 § 11A may apply to an EPAMD so long as affixing such decal or plate does not directly interfere with the operation of an EPAMD and associated fee does not exceed $5.00.
No proof of financial responsibility is required for the operation of an EPAMD.
SECTION 3. This article shall become effective immediately upon passage.
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