You’d have to be at least sixteen to legally operate one of those new-fangled “Individual Transport” scooter machines — called the I-T or “IT” — if a bill that cleared the Senate becomes law. Those who ride the IT stand and hang onto a handlebar, and the machine stops and starts based on body movements. Senator Matt McCoy of Des Moines says the IT is progress that will revolutionize the way humans travel. He says the U-S Postal service is working with the IT to develop a personalized travel plan. Senator Joel Bolkom of Iowa City isn’t sure he likes the IT. Bolkom says the vehicle will likely take up most of the sidewalk and he’s not sure how safe it will be.McCoy says Bolkom’s fears are unwarranted. If the IT senses another person or animal within four feet, it will shut down and come to a stop. McCoy says that ensures it won’t run over pedestrians, dogs or “backpacking, granola-eating” Iowa City residents. Cities will still be able to pass ordinances barring the IT from sidewalks, and Bolkom hopes that’s just what happens. He says most local people will have more sense than the legislature and won’t allow the IT on sidewalks.The first IT was auctioned on the Internet and sold for over 30-thousand dollars. The machines, though, are expected to retail for about 35-hundred dollars when they’re mass marketed.
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