The explosion in popularity of e-scooters — dockless, sharable electric scooters that are rentable by the minute — isn’t hard to understand. These scooters are available on street corners throughout Atlanta and provide a cheap way to explore the city. But while initial reaction to the introduction of these scooters and bikes was positive, a high number of accidents led the city of Atlanta to consider additional regulation. In January of 2019, the Atlanta City Council took action by implementing safety regulations intended to curb the problem.
Wrecks and “Bike Litter”
The new ordinance, which passed almost unanimously, makes sweeping changes to the operation and storage of these vehicles. The ordinance bars riding on sidewalks and also operates where these bikes and scooters can be docked or parked. The ordinance also restricts e-scooters to a speed limit of 15 miles per hour. The ordinance does not apply to shared bikes, including those with electric power. The ordinance also sets requirements including a bar on more than one person riding a scooter at a time.
One of the significant issues the ordinance intends to address is the problem of “Bike Litter.” It has become commonplace in Atlanta for e-scooters to pile up in stacks of a dozen or more e-scooters or bikes. Often, these piles block pedestrian access to the sidewalk or are inches away from traffic. Bike Litter is more than a nuisance, as pedestrians attempting to avoid the sea of e-scooters have injured themselves trying to go around or through the stacks of bicycles.
New Penalties for “Bike Litter”
Under the new ordinance new ordinance, participating e-scooter companies must require riders to park all bikes and scooters in an upright position with plenty of room for pedestrians to pass. The consequences of failing to do so are severe. The city can levy a fine of up to $1,000 per day for each bike that is not parked according to the ordinance. What’s more, the patron of the e-scooter company must pay the fine, not the company itself. The city council hopes that these steep fines will help eradicate the issue of Bike Litter.
While support for the ordinance was near-unanimous, there was a vocal contingent within the council that the city of Atlanta needs to address the issues with their streets comprehensively to resolve some of the safety issues that surround e-scooters and bikes. According to the executive director of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, the underlying cause of e-scooter riders traveling on sidewalks stems from the unsafe nature of the city’s streets.
Injured in an e-Scooter Accident? Discuss Your Case With a Georgia Personal Injury Attorney
While the Atlanta City Council is optimistic that these regulation changes will cut down on the number of injuries caused by e-scooters and bicycles, the sheer volume of these vehicles will inevitably result in injuries. If you suffered an injury in a collision with the rider of an e-Scooter or bicycle, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Joel Williams Law, LLC can help. To discuss how an experienced attorney can help you recover damages stemming from your accident, contact Joel Williams Law, LLC at 833-LEGALGA today for a free consultation.