TEMPE, Ariz — Tempe has just approved new rules that give more guidance on how scooters and bikes should navigate the city streets and sidewalks. 

The Tempe City Council voted Thursday that bicycles, e-bikes and scooters will now be allowed on sidewalks when there are no bike lanes and the speed limit is higher than 25.

When the speed limit is 25 mph or less or a bike lane exists, riders must use the street and go with the flow of traffic.

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Riders must be 16 to operate any motorized vehicle. Minors are required to wear a helmet, must ride on sidewalks at all times and either have the consent of or be accompanied by a guardian.

Bikes, e-bikes and scooters on sidewalks coming across a pedestrian must yield the right-of-way, slow down to 5 mph and give an audible signal before passing.

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The changes approved aim to decrease the number of car crashes involving bikes and scooters. The City of Tempe says several studies show riding on the sidewalk increases a bicyclist’s risk of being involved in a crash with a motor vehicle.

The changes take effect in 30 days. You can read the full ordinance here.

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