the Tampa Bay Times reported recently, motorized scooters are set to hit the streets of Tampa in early 2019.
Initial reports have indicated these devices could arrive in town as early
as February, with the city issuing three requests for electric scooter
rental companies to bring their technology to the Tampa Bay area, according
to city spokeswoman Ashley Bauman.
These scooters would be permitted in the city on a one-year pilot program
set to end Nov. 9, 2019. The companies’ agreement with the city
would let patrons ride on sidewalks and other multi-use paths, but not
on streets or bike lanes. Brands like Bird, Like, Skip, Scoot, and Spin
may be among the potential options to Tampa-area riders. “We’re
trying to get ahead of the regulation and be proactive,” Bauman
told the Tampa Bay times. “We know they’re coming, they’ve
dropped in every city.”
Electric scooters have become popular in large metropolitan areas, including
Cincinnati, Indianapolis, New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. To
unlock these devices, users usually have to download an app on their smartphone
and scan a barcode on the scooter to begin riding. Most brands cost a
dollar to unlock, with companies charging around 15 cents per minute for
customers to continue their trip. Pedestrians are allowed to pick up scooters
anywhere they find them and ride them at speeds reaching 5-8 mph. When
they are finished, patrons can leave the scooters anywhere, so long as
they take a picture proving they are not blocking a public walkway.
Despite the popularity of these machines in many parts of the country,
the scooters’ imminent arrival has also prompted some cause for
concern. According to Tampa Transportation Director Jean Duncan, the plan
is to be ready for their arrival by preparing for it now. “We also
want to get ahead of scooter companies just setting up shop and creating
issues, as has occurred in other cities in the U.S.,” said Duncan.
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman echoed this sentiment earlier this month,
tweeting a picture of himself on a Lime scooter in front of City Hall
and saying, "We still have a ways to go and some issues to work through
in order to get these on our streets, but I remain committed to diversifying
transit in the Burg." Clearwater spokesman Rob Shaw, meanwhile, has
stated that his city will need to figure out a bike-share program before
they adopt any other new modes of transportation, and hopes the city will
take its que from the rest of the country, once more official regulations
have been implemented.
Tampa is currently set to bring in up to 1800 scooters for their pilot
program, allowing no more than 300 in one service zone at a time. The
program would set up around 180 parking corals around the city, spread
throughout service zones.
While not every city in the west coast of Florida is as likely to adopt
the scooter craze as quickly as Tampa Bay, what does seem clear is that
this technology is coming to the area very soon, regardless of how you
feel about it.
What to Know About Scooter Injuries
Scooter advocates argue that these machines are a fun way to get around,
and a boon to cities with
troubled transportation systems. However, while that may be true, it is also impossible to negate the
negative aspects associated with the rise of electric scooters.
some estimates project the global market for electric scooters will reach
over $30 billion by 2024, that doesn’t mean they are safe. Scooter crashes
have resulted in a rash of injuries in areas where they are popular, with companies like Bird and Lime even
facing a class-action lawsuit over pedestrian injures in Los Angeles. With the average scooter traveling at least 3-4 miles faster than the
average pedestrian, walkers are almost always going to come out on the
losing end in a collision with a scooter. One hospital in Salt Lake City
has stated that
they have seen a 161% rise in ER visits since the arrival of electric scooters. This is, of course, saying nothing of injuries to riders themselves,
who risk serious bodily harm, as well as potential brain damage, if they
are not wearing a helmet.
Factors that have been found to contribute to scooter accidents include:
- Unsafe behavior on the part of riders;
- Unsafe behavior on the part of pedestrians;
- Hazardous roads;
- Lack of visibility;
- Lack of barriers between riders and pedestrians/streets;
- Faulty equipment;
- Vandalized equipment; and/or
- Other mechanical issues.
staring to crack down on scooter riders to enforce pedestrian safety. But is this really enough? If you have already been injured in a collision
with an electric scooter, you should consider hiring an attorney.
Call Paulsen Law Group Today
Paulsen Law Group, our
Dunedin personal injury lawyers may be able to help you following a scooter-related incident. Our
experienced pedestrian accident attorneys have offices in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Dunedin, Lakeland, and New Port
Richey. We also have 15 years of experience serving clients in the west
coast area, so you know you’re hiring representation you can trust.
If you have been injured in a scooter collision, we may be able to hold
various parties accountable, including:
- Scooter riders;
- The scooter company;
- The city;
- Drivers who acted unsafely;
- Other pedestrians who acted unsafely;
- Construction companies that created a dangerous environment; or
- Other negligent parties.
Don’t let scooter companies drive you off the road and into the hospital.
Call Paulsen Law Group today, for accident attorneys who will argue for
Dial (888) 352-7180 now to speak to an attorney, or contact us online for
a free consultation.