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updated: 7/24/2014 12:09 PM

Elgin looks at legalizing small scooters

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Registered scooters with small motors will soon be legal to drive in Elgin.

The city council's committee of the whole approved Wednesday moving forward with an ordinance that would legalize scooters smaller than 150 cc, as long as they are titled and registered with the state.

That would align Elgin's ordinance with state law, Elgin Police Cmdr. Dan O'Shea said.

Right now, anyone who operates scooters under 150 cc in Elgin is subject to a $100 fine and impounding. The city has issued seven tickets since 2010, O'Shea said.

Elgin Councilman Toby Shaw said he helped set the wheels in motion after getting a call from a resident who pointed out scooters smaller than 150 cc are being sold in Elgin, yet they're illegal to drive in town.

James Dorr, sales manager at BBK Motorsport in Elgin, said scooters with 125 cc and 50 cc motors are a big part of the market.

"As soon as gas prices rise every summer we sell a bunch of them," he said. "This year gas prices haven't shot up a lot, so actually our scooter sales are down over the previous five years."

Dorr said he had no idea small scooters are illegal in Elgin. His customers include police officers, he said.

"What's funny is you can go to the DMV in Elgin and get an L license for a scooter between 50 cc to 250 cc."

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