Shareable scooters are all the rage in cities across the country including Miami, Chicago, San Diego, Austin, Portland, and more. In June, Governor Steve Sisolak signed Assembly Bill 485, allowing local governments to regulate electric scooters. So how soon will electric scooters come to Las Vegas?
The new law also outlines restrictions on both scooter share programs and scooter riders including:
- Scooter riders must be a minimum of 16 years old
- Scooter riders are subject to the same rules and rights as bicycle riders
- Cities can impose a speed limit
- Cities can charge scooter share companies an operating fee
According to a statement from the city of Las Vegas shared with local news, no scooter share companies that operate without a storefront have been licensed as of yet. Nevertheless, Las Vegas and other Nevada cities may see an invasion of electric scooters in the near future. Our state is one of the few where industry leaders Lime and Bird are not yet permitted to operate.
Are Electric Scooters Dangerous?
Although official statistics are lacking, hospitals and urgent cares have reported an increase in accidents involving electric scooters. An investigation published by Consumer Reports found there were over 1,500 injuries or deaths from scooter accidents in 2018. Due to under-reporting, this number is most likely higher.
What Makes Electric Scooters like Lime, Bird, and Uber Dangerous?
There are several reasons electric scooter accidents happen. Often they can result in serious injuries to riders or pedestrians.
- Riders usually do not wear helmets, despite the recommendations to do so on most scooter share company websites
- People often operate electric scooters on sidewalks and other pedestrian only zones
- Those who operate scooters on streets don’t always follow the rules of the road, putting them and other drivers at risk
- Scooter share programs allow riders to “turn in” their scooters anywhere they like, resulting in possible road and walkway hazards
- Some riders are reporting equipment malfunctions, including brake failure
Tourists and residents alike enjoy the convenience of scooter share programs, but just like with any motorized vehicle, please take necessary safety precautions.
What Should I Do After a Scooter Accident?
If you or a loved one is ever injured in an electric scooter accident, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Exchange Information: If you are able to, exchange information with the other people involved in the accident. Names, contact details, and car insurance information will be helpful if you later need to pursue a claim.
- Document the Scene: You or a friend should take pictures of the accident scene and all of the vehicles involved.
- Get Medical Treatment: This is the most important step on the list. Your health comes first. Go to a hospital or urgent care for a full evaluation of your injuries. Please make sure to tell your doctor and nurses if you hit your head or lost consciousness.
- Review Your Options With an Attorney: If you are hurt, it can be helpful to discuss your options with a reputable personal injury lawyer. Many law firms, including Sam & Ash, LLP, offer free consultations.
Time will tell if scooter share companies will win big in Las Vegas. If they do, the new law may help keep our streets safe, while introducing the convenience of the electric scooter to our community.