If anyone has attended an event in downtown Atlanta lately such as a Falcons game Georgia State basketball game, you may have noticed the proliferation of scooters and the drivers’ total disregard for vehicle traffic and signal lights. With all of the congestions surrounding events in downtown, scooters are a quick and easy way to negotiate the bitter downtown traffic and get to where you are going faster than by walking or driving. But, are they safe, and what are the rules of the road in regard to the use of scooters.
According to the Atlanta Police Department (“APD”), the city of Atlanta ordinance that applies to scooters (which are called “shareable dockless mobility devices and dockless mobility devices”, scooters “may operate in vehicle travel lanes, in bike lanes, and along shared use paths throughout the city,” according to the ordinance. All applicable state and local laws should be followed, it notes.
It goes without saying that electric scooters must obey all traffic laws and are not allowed to be ridden on sidewalks and pedestrian only areas. The ordinance allows scooters to be operated within city parks, but they cannot be used on sidewalks or spaces solely for pedestrians. When on a shared use path, the riders “must yield to pedestrians in all cases,” the ordinance notes.
Nearly 5,000 people in the U.S. were killed on motorcycles in calendar year 2017. While this is a slight decrease from 2016 and that’s good news – the lives saved represent a projected 5.6% decrease –motorcyclists remain significantly overrepresented in all traffic deaths, with fatalities occurring 28 times more often those of passenger vehicle occupants, based on per mile traveled. The same can be said for scooter accidents. While they do not result in as many deaths, scooter accidents happen more frequently than many other types of accidents involving other vehicles. This is probably due to the novelty of jumping on a scooter, not being familiar with it, or possibly, the scooter not being maintained as it should. Whatever the reason, we are seeing a prolific jump in these electronic scooter accidents and we must address this soon, or the ramifications can get out of hand quickly. While electric scooter accidents do not result in fatalities at the rate of motorcycle accidents, they do tend to result in injuries which are much more serious than bicycle or car accidents and his is troubling for a lot of reasons.
For almost 25 years, Attorney Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, personal injury, dental malpractice and medical malpractice lawsuits for individuals and families who have been injured or died as a result of the negligence of others in and around the Atlanta, Georgia area. He is a partner in the law firm of Katz Wright Fleming Dodson & Mildenhall, LLC and regularly handles cases in Atlanta as well as Alpharetta, Brookhaven, Chamblee, College Park, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, Smyrna, Peachtree City, and other cities in Georgia. If you or family member has been seriously injured or died as a result of negligence and would like quality legal representation or if you would just like to consult about a potential case, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.