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New Restrictions Aimed at Curbing Dangerous Electric Scooters

ELECTRIC SCOOTERS ARE POPPING UP EVERYWHERE

Electric scooters are popping up all around Atlanta. Just last night we looked out the office window in Decatur and saw that someone had dumped a Lime Scooter in the City trash can in front of a popular restaurant in downtown Decatur. Like it or not, Electric Scooters or E-scooters are here to stay. Or are they?

ATLANTA AND OTHER CITIES ARE TRYING TO REGULATE THEM

In January the Atlanta City Council approved new city regulations that require e-scooters to be parked upright on sidewalks, leaving room for pedestrians. Decatur has heavily regulated electric scooters, and Marietta recently banned them due to safety concerns..

Now, Georgia lawmakers have proposed statewide regulations in order to try to gain control of the proliferation of these scooters on the streets by scooter companies such as Bird, Lime, Lyft and Uber. While these proposed new laws are a good start, they may not be sufficient to address the safety needs of the citizens of Atlanta.

NOW THE STATE OF GEORGIA IS PROPOSING MORE REGS

One proposed bill would prohibit people from parking “motorized mobility devices” – designed to transport one person and traveling up to 20 mph from parking on sidewalks (unless allowed by local ordinance), crosswalks, intersections and other locations that could hinder vehicles and pedestrians. The bill would allow anyone who encounters a device parked in a dangerous manner to move it. And in case you are wondering what a motorized mobility devices” – designed to transport one person and traveling up to 20 mph from parking on sidewalks is, well, it’s a an e-scooter. The proposed new Georgia bill would allow people to ride electric scooters on bike paths, in bike lanes and on roads with a speed limit of 35 mph or less if no bike lane or path is available. It also includes provisions that would protect riders – for example, motorists would be required to yield to riders if they’re operating a device in a bike lane.

Another proposed bill would allow electric bikes to use paved paths if they are not capable of reaching a speed of 20 mph or if the motor stops when the bike reaches that speed. It also would require people who ride faster electric bikes to wear helmets.

Our law firm has noticed a marked increase in the number and severity of accidents that involved electric scooters. One important issue that is not addressed in the proposed bills is how the state of Georgia can ensure that these e-scooters (which are place in service on our City streets and used mainly by young children and adults) are properly maintained and regularly serviced. These e-scooters are inherently dangerous, just by the nature of how you have to ride them, and if they are not properly maintained and regularly serviced, the risk of accident and serious injury on them goes up exponentially.

THE THREAT OF LAWSUITS ENSURE SCOOTER SAFETY AS WELL

As an Atlanta personal injury lawyer who represent people injured on e-scooters, I can attest to the fact that the legal tort system plays a role in policing the e-scooter companies. When faced with the prospect of being sued if an ill-maintained e-scooter causes a serious accident, the e-scooter companies will do their best to ensure that their scooter are safe and well-maintained for the people who rent them. This should be no different from, for example, U-haul or the car rental companies who have stringent inspection and maintenance policies in place to try to make sure that they vehicles they rent out to the public are safe.

CALL (404) 923-7497 TO DISCUSS YOUR SITUATION TODAY

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, including Alpharetta, Brookhaven, Chamblee, College Park, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you or someone you know has been seriously injured or died as a result of an electronic scooter accident 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.