October 17, 2023

City notices influx in e-scooters, hoverboards
Steve Campbell
Director of Public Safety

As electric scooters, skateboards, and hoverboards become more popular across the country, Happy Valley is seeing an influx in them as well. Additionally, safety concerns related to their use have become more prevalent. As a result, it is important to keep in mind some basic safety precautions.

These gadgets may look like a quick, reliable, and even fun way to get around the City, but they can be dangerous when not used responsibly and cause disruption for others using walkways and streets. The key is to always anticipate situations and maintain caution. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

  • Stay on the right side of the road or sidewalk. Those under 16 must stay in the bike lane or stick to the sidewalk. Do not use your e-scooter, skateboard, or hoverboard in traffic lanes.
  • Always maintain a safe speed that you are comfortable and confident with.
  • Keep a safe distance from others. This will ensure that you can act accordingly and anticipate risks quickly.
  • Avoid tandem riding. There is not enough room on a standard e-scooter for more than one rider and risk for injury increases significantly when you double-up.
  • Know your limits and experience. If you’re a beginner, explore safely and find an open area to practice.
  • Give way to pedestrians.
  • When passing a pedestrian or someone using an ADA device, kindly ring a bell or sound a horn, and state “on your left” or “passing” to announce your presence and alert them of your movement.
  • Follow traffic rules and regulations like traffic lights, road signs and obey all traffic regulations.
  • Upon reaching your destination, make sure your devices are properly and safely parked.

It is important to keep in mind that sidewalks and streets are a shared space and being cognizant of both foot and vehicle traffic is key to riding responsibly. Know when to move out of the way and yield to those on foot or using a wheelchair or other ADA mobility device.

To further avoid injuries and mishaps while riding electric scooters and the like, it is highly advisable to always wear a helmet. According to the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS), persons ages 16 and under must wear a helmet when riding or skating in public. Additionally, make sure the device being used is at optimal condition. Regularly check the brakes, handlebars, throttle, bell, lights, tires, cable, and frame to ensure they are all working properly.