Bird scooters are the newest fad within the expanding Midwest hub of Columbus, Ohio. These motorized devices have experienced a recent surge in popularity. With more use, comes more injuries to riders in Columbus.
The city has implemented a thoughtful approach to developing regulations to ensure everyone’s safety. Existing regulations were put into effect on August 28 according to this 10TV story:
- Companies seeking to offer shared mobility devices for public use must obtain permits from the department to operate in the city. A maximum of eight companies at any one time may offer their products in the city.
- The devices must be parked in an upright position and cannot be parked in the vehicle portions of the street, including parking spots and loading zones. They also cannot be parked in doorways, and they cannot block pedestrians on sidewalks or curb ramps, fire escapes, inside bus shelters, in driveways or on unauthorized private property or unapproved non-public spaces.
- The city of Columbus may designate parking/staging spots for the devices in the city to assist with keeping order in the public’s right of way.
- Each company that receives a permit to offer shared mobility devices in the city is limited to offering up to 500 devices. The director of public service has the authority to increase this number based on demand and usage. The devices offered must not be able to go faster than 15 MPH.
- Companies offering shared mobility devices are required to educate riders on responsible and legal use of their devices.
- Companies offering shared mobility devices must deploy at least some of devices in neighborhoods outside of the central business district as designated by the office of the mayor.
- Companies offering shared mobility devices must put in place access to the service for those without credit cards.
- Companies with existing operations will have 30 days to come into compliance.
Even with all these regulations in place, injuries still happen. Many professionals are concerned about the liability that may result from use of these electric scooters. With all of the traffic congestion and construction projects taking place in Columbus, Bird scooters might not be ideal for getting around the city.
An important issue to consider is that Bird does not provide the required protective gear for their scooter riders. According to Ohio law, helmets are not required while operating an electric scooter, but eyewear is. If requested, Bird will send a free helmet in the mail but not eyewear. Also, Ohio law states that any form of motorized transportation must have turn signals and brake lights. Bird scooters do not have headlights, brake lights or turn signals. Who is Liable in a Electric Bird Scooter Accident?
The Bird company has been asked to remove their scooters from the public right-of-way due to the dangerous nature and placement without permits. They have largely ignored several cease-and-desist warnings around the country.
If you are injured as a result of an electric scooter accident in Columbus, Ohio our attorneys will represent you to the fullest extent.
Agee Clymer Mitchell and Portman are the Bird scooter accident attorneys in Columbus, Ohio that will fight for your rights, whether you are at fault in the accident or merely an innocent victim.