Legislation introduced by state Rep. Curt VanderWall to define electric skateboards and how they operate on local streets, and establish off-road vehicle (ORV) requirements for towing a fishing shanty is now law.
VanderWall’s bill defines what constitutes an electric skateboard and restricts their use on roads with a 25 mph speed limit or lower.
“This plan allows for the newest transportation trend to be used the right and safe way,” said VanderWall, of Ludington. “Very few states have enacted legislation addressing e-skateboards and this new law will put Michigan on the forefront of technology and transportation.”
Electric skateboards are required to yield to pedestrians, be operated on the far right side of the road, and be equipped with front lighting and rear reflectors for evening operations. Riders under age 19 will be required to wear a helmet. E-skateboards have an electric drive and braking components, while its speed is controlled by a hand-held throttle or weight-sensor control.
The second plan allows a person to operate an off-road vehicle (ORV) without a helmet or protective eyewear when towing an ice fishing shanty across a public lake.
A property owner would not be liable for personal injuries, including death, to an individual who operates an ORV without wearing a helmet while traveling on private property.
“People towing an icy shanty to their spot do not drive at speeds fast enough for a helmet to be necessary, and the helmet can cause vision problems when trying to look back and check on the shanty,” said VanderWall.
House Bill 5391 is now Public Act 204 and House Bill 5662 is now Public Act 206 of 2018.