We’ve been talking about the electric scooters scattered around town since they arrived about a month ago. Since their arrival, there have been several calls to the emergency rooms and we know one accident even resulted in a death in Cleveland.
The scooters are a talker. Many think they are a great way to get around town. Others are complaining that people are riding them irresponsibly, and it’s gained the attention of city leaders.
“Some folks are concerned about ADA accessibility and where the scooters are being parked and some people are concerned about the way there being driven,” said Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein.
Klein adds if people just rode with more general common sense it would help.
“Just like when you’re on a bicycle or a skateboard or a scooter common sense goes a long way and respect for others. When I was asked by Columbus police of what they should do as it relates to scooters being operated on the sidewalk, we know that there was a conflict between state law and city law regarding where they could be ridden.”
So they concluded that they could be taken on sidewalks and on streets. However, you can still be ticketed while using them.
“You still can’t ride them recklessly, if an officer sees you riding them recklessly they can ticket you for riding them recklessly the possibility getting ticketed while riding them while intoxicated,” said Klein.
The city is currently working on more formal regulations so that the scooters can continue to be available.
Frank Williams of the city of Columbus Department of a public Service says, “We are working with other agencies within the city to develop best practices about how to move forward it’s a very new business model so we’re learning and trying to make sure we get this thing right.”
“Happening right now between council the Mayor’s office, public service, my office to make sure that we have well-rounded regulation that addresses public safety, ADA concerns, accessibility concerns but also allow the longevity of scooters to be part of the transportation fabric here in the city of Columbus,” said Klein.
The Mayor’s office gave a statement that reads
The Department of Public Service is spearheading collaborative efforts with Public Safety, the City Attorney and Smart Columbus to craft guidelines to ensure scooters operate safety in the public right of way. We are taking a thorough and thoughtful approach to what works best in Columbus.
After reaching out to Columbus Police they say no one has been ticketed yet on a scooter.