Over the past fifteen years, bike shares have exploded in popularity, with nearly 100,000 bikes in operation at the end of 2017. In the wake of the success enjoyed by bike shares, companies started opening up scooter shares, which takes the concept of the bike share to a new level. Scooter shares enable commuters to pick up an electric scooter at any number of docks across the city and return the scooter to whichever dock is most convenient for them. Currently, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. each have scooter share programs.
Despite the popularity of scooter shares among users, there is also widespread concern that scooter shares are placing potentially dangerous vehicles in the hands of inexperienced riders. Indeed, in the wake of dozens of recent reports detailing scooter accidents resulting in serious injury or death, Washington, D.C. lawmakers are considering banning scooter shares, or at least strictly regulating them.
One recent accident involved two people who suffered serious injuries after allegedly running a red light. According to a local news report, a man and woman were riding on the same scooter when the driver ran a red light and crashed into an SUV. The SUV, having a green signal, had the right-of-way. Both people on the scooter suffered serious injuries, but are expected to recover. The city’s police chief noted that, while there did not appear to be a law against two riders sharing a scooter, it would seem to be an obvious safety issue. He also reminded riders that electric scooters are not toys and are potentially dangerous vehicles that must follow the posted traffic rules at all times.
According to another news report, under a recently proposed Washington, D.C. bill, electric scooters would be banned from city streets between the hours of 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., and would require electric scooter companies to remove scooters within three hours of a report that they are illegally parked. The bill would also impose a 15-m.p.h. speed limit on Washington, D.C. roads, and a six-m.p.h. speed limit on sidewalks. Finally, it would cap the total number of scooters in the city at 15,000. Currently, there are about 5,000 permitted scooters in Washington, D.C, but that number is expected to increase.
The bill’s proponents describe the law as comprehensive, noting that it aims to strengthen current regulations and hold scooter companies accountable for doing their part to ensure rider, pedestrian, and motorist safety.
Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Scooter Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Maryland or Washington, D.C. scooter accident, contact the dedicated personal injury lawyers at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. At our scooter accident law firm, we represent injury victims in accidents occurring in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Our team of aggressive personal injury lawyers works hard to ensure that our clients are fully compensated for their injuries. To learn more, call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation today. We will not bill you for our services unless we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.