Council amends scooter ordinance and talks underage drinking - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Council amends scooter ordinance and talks underage drinking


The Cape Girardeau City Council met Monday, and talked about two hot issues: scooter safety, and underage drinking.

There are two ordinances on the table.

The first, deals with scooter safety. The ordinance says anyone riding a motorized bicycle must wear a helmet. A motorized bicycle is classified as under 50 cc's and doesn't reach a speed above 30 miles per hour.

The ordinance said scooter drivers were only allowed to drive on roads with 30 miles per hour speed limit or less. Some drivers said they didn't like that.

"The scooter is my only means of transportation, around town, and I work at the alternate field facility across from the quarry, all the way down Sprigg, which has a 35 mph speed limit and if this is passed, then I would be limited from getting to work," said Southeast Missouri State Junior Lauren Ditto.

Monday night, the council members amended that limit to 35 miles per hour or less.

Ditto said she has a deal with her roommates, they give her rides in their car on bad weather days, and she gives them rides on the scooter on pretty days. With the ordinance's restriction on passengers, she wouldn't be able to do that.

"I pay for insurance on my scooter, and it covers a passenger, so why should I not be able to have a passenger," said Ditto.

Council members discussed amending the ordinance to not require helmets, but voted it down.

They did amend it to require a liability insurance that would help protect surrounding cars and vehicles on the road, in case a scooter driver hit and damaged another vehicle.

City Council notes say there have been 32 scooter accidents since 2010 in Cape Girardeau, and 8 in 2012.

The other big issue discussed was an ordinance targeted to curb underage drinking.

The ordinance says no one under 21-years of age, unless accompanies by a parent or guardian, can be in an establishment licensed to serve or sell intoxicating liquor between 10 PM and 6 am. Those establishments, for the purpose of the ordinance are defined at one that 35 percent of its gross sales is derived from intoxicating beverages.

Some city council members said they want to know how many businesses this will affect. How many allow those under 21 in, and reach that 35 percent gross sales requirement. Members are not sure if they will get that data.

They also discussed the requirement of a parent versus someone over 21.

One community member said it would affect the possibility of hanging out with his friends that are under the age of 21.

Council members also discussed adding some sort of wording to exempt employees who work in the establishments.

Both ordinances are expected to have a second and third reading at the next city council meeting.

You can see an overview of the scooter ordinance here. To view the entire ordinance, click the link at the bottom of the page.

You can see an overview of the underage drinking ordinance here. To view the entire ordinance, click the link at the bottom of the page.

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