If you’ve been downtown in the past month or two, you have probably noticed that the sidewalks are a little busier. Almost overnight, electric vehicle sharing companies, Bird and Lime, dropped off thousands of scooters in Columbus. Users can download an app on their phones and pay small fees to take the scooters for a ride. While the scooters have added a cheap and efficient alternate means of transportation, they have presented a number of legal issues for city lawmakers, as well as added injury and risk to the daily commute.
Our firm has been following the news releases on laws regulating the scooters, and we wanted to provide a legal update on the current status of the law in Columbus for our clients, as well as remind you of our personal injury practice. While the law is currently fluid and may change quickly, here is what you need to know:
- Stay off the Sidewalks – Columbus initially permitted use of the scooters on the sidewalks. However, on September 11, lawmakers banned such use. Scooter use will be limited to roadways moving forward.
- Note that this is an emergency order from the Mayor and has not yet been voted upon by City Council, so this is subject to change (possible vote September 24).
- Because it hasn’t been enacted by City Council, Columbus cannot currently ticket riders who are operating the scooters on the sidewalk.
- Where to Ride – Riders cannot ride scooters on Freeways. Riders can only ride scooters on roads where the speed limit is 35mph or less.
- There is an exception for roads that have designated bike lanes.
- Speed Limit – Scooters may not operate at more than 20 mph.
- Parking – Scooters should not impede pedestrians, while parked. Scooters also cannot park or be stored on private property, without the consent of an owner. Scooters should not park on ADA ramps or loading zones.
- Use of Scooter – Operators should not wear headphones while riding, and only one operator per scooter.
- Scooter Convoys – No more than two scooters may operate side by side.
Lardiere McNair, LLC has a robust personal injury practice. While we handle cases from car accidents to dog bites, we also recognize that the influx of scooters in Central Ohio will indubitably lead to unfortunate injuries. If you have been injured in an accident involving a scooter, please give us a call for a free consultation.
Our firm also recommends safe use of any electric vehicle. Please make sure you pay attention to the agreement you are making by using the scooter, and the risk that you are assuming. Please note that other municipalities use a different set of laws. The above is only applicable to Columbus.
Chad Stonebrook is a Partner at Lardiere McNair, LLC. To read more about our firm, please visit www.lmcounsel.com.
The information presented here has been prepared by Lardiere McNair for promotional and informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. This information is not intended to provide, and receipt of it does not constitute, legal advice. Nor does the receipt of this material create an attorney/client relationship. An attorney client relationship is not established until such time as Lardiere McNair enters in to a written engagement agreement with a specific client for a specific legal matter.
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