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A New Wave of Transportation: What You Need to Know About e-Scooters

Posted in Blog on November 30, 2018

Have you recently been walking on the sidewalk and had someone fly past you on an electric scooter? This could result in a serious injury if the user accidentally runs into you directly, causes you to collide with something in your path, or causes you to fall into nearby traffic. While this new trend of using electric scooters to transport you nearby places is exciting and convenient, the possibility of harming yourself or someone else cannot be ignored.

In May of ‘18 and following fines nearing $40,000, the City of Denver ordered electric scooter companies to remove their product from the streets. This was the result of unclear and uncommunicated rules and laws from the companies to customers. Another component that fueled the town’s state of chaos initially following the launch of e-scooters was the fact that the companies, such as Bird and Lime, arrived ostensibly overnight; this lack of notice caused confusion about the guidelines of use of the scooters. Users were riding the scooters in bike lanes, running into pedestrians, and leaving the scooters haphazardly throughout the city. Lime even essentially told its users to ride the scooters in the bike lane stating that that is where users are most comfortable as compared to the sidewalk, which is illegal in Denver.

Despite this observation, the City of Denver put a pause on the electric scooter companies until there were formal regulations in place. The agreed-upon provisions transformed into a new permit that the companies must apply and pay for if they are selected. The permit is called the Dockless Mobility Vehicle Pilot Permit Program, and it is a subpart of the greater Transit Amenity Program.

Permit Program Guidelines for Users Starting at the end of July, the electric scooter companies were allowed to redistribute their scooters as long as specific regulations were obeyed.

  • Local road laws must be followed when the vehicle is being used
  • “No ride/no parking” areas must be respected at all times by users
  • Parked dockless vehicles must not hinder pedestrian paths or access to sidewalks and streets
  • E-scooters must be used on sidewalks and not in traffic or bike lanes
  • Users must always yield to pedestrians

Denver officials agreed to approve permits for five electric scooters and five electric bicycles companies. Lime, Bird, Lyft, Spin, and Razor were selected to receive permits under the pilot permit program. The permits are valid for up to 1 year, and they can be revoked; this is to incentivize the companies to follow the guidelines put in place. Electric scooters may come to a place near you soon; as every city has varying laws and regulations for this type of vehicle, make sure you are aware of them before testing out an e-scooter in your city. If you or a loved one has had an incident with an electric scooter user, and it resulted in an injury, contact one of our personal injury lawyers immediately as you may be entitled to compensation. Learn more at www.zanerhardenlaw.com.

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