Issue 1: Helmets
New York State since July 2002 requires scooter riders to wear helmets. The law requirement doesn't allow flexibility of driving environment. People riding a scooter are required to wear a helmet, even in their own private driveway.
Consequences: First violation involves a warning, and a fine of up to $50 for following violations.
Issue 2: Usage on Public Streets, Roads, Highways
Go-peds (as scooters are classified by New York State DMV) are skateboards or scooters with a motor attached and a handlebar for a standing [or sitting] rider. You cannot register this motorized device. Therefore you cannot operate this device on public streets or highways in New York State.
Usage of this device or equipment is prohibited.
Consequence: You could be subject to arrest, and / or confiscation of device. Riding this vehicle on public road without registration, drivers license, inspection, insurance or correct equipment would automatically be subjected to an arrest. Therefore it is illegal for children as well as adults to be using this device. Legal consequences may be transferred to the Parent/Guardian of the child if under 16.
Issue 3: Driving Regulations:
Taking aside the fact that scooters are illegal to be driven in the road. They nevertheless would had to follow all driving rules and regulations. This includes, signaling for a turn, following flow of traffic (traffic lights, stop signs, etc.), not be more than 2 feet from the curve (with exceptions to obstacles) and must remain on the left side of the road at all times. Scooters would had to follow the same rules of bicycles if they were legal.
Consequences: Tickets / summonses, points in your license for not following driving regulations. You also could be arrested for DWI on a scooter if your blood alcohol level exceeds legal limits.
If you or your child has a scooter remember to always wear helmet and keep off public roads.