Motor Scooters and Personal Mobility Devices
In order for a motor scooter (motor-driven cycle as defined by the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code) to be legally operated on roadways, it must be titled and registered in the commonwealth and have the proper insurance. In order to be titled and registered it must meet PA's equipment and inspection requirements for motor-driven cycles.
Many motor scooters do not have the necessary equipment, such as fenders, turn signals, lights, etc., to pass inspection. Individuals who are looking into purchasing a motor scooter for transportation purposes should verify that there is a manufacturer's certification label affixed to the scooter indicating the scooter meets the applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) for a motorcycle and the certification label is located on a permanent part of the scooter close to the intersection of the steering post with the handlebars and should be easily readable without moving any part of the vehicle except the steering system. Those not manufactured for highway use will not have a certification label and cannot be operated on highways.
Even if a motor scooter were properly equipped and could pass inspection, it still may not be appropriate for use on all roadways if it is not powerful enough to keep up with other traffic. According to Section 3364, Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law, no person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable flow of traffic. A motor scooter owner or potential owner should check with local law enforcement officials to ensure they can operate a motor scooter on their intended travel route.
For more information, review the Moped, Motor-Driven Cycle and Motorcycle Fact Sheet (PDF).
PERSONAL MOBILITY DEVICES
ELECTRIC WHEELCHAIRS/ ELECTRIC MOBILITY DEVICES
Self-propelled wheelchairs (electric wheelchairs) or an electric mobility device, specifically designed for and used by an individual with a mobility-related disability in lieu of walking, can be used on the berm of a roadway. These devices are not considered vehicles as defined by Section 102 of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, so they are not subject to titling, registration, insurance, inspection and driver licensing laws. Operators of these devices should follow laws related to and be treated by motorists the same as a pedestrian.
Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Devices (EPAMDs) are defined in Section 102 of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code as a self-balancing, two-nontandem-wheeled device designed to transport only one person with an electric propulsion system. EPAMDs are legally allowed to be operated on sidewalks and roadways in PA, unless prohibited by local ordinance [Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, Section 3703(c)]. However, EPAMDs are prohibited on freeways (Section 3583) and are NOT subject to the titling, registration, insurance, inspection and driver licensing laws.
For example, the Segway Human Transporters are EPAMDs that are classified as vehicles, but not motor vehicles, and as such, should follow laws related to and be treated by motorists the same as a bicycle.