Motorized and electronic scooters offer a means for efficient, inexpensive transportation through the streets of Columbus. However, these devices — which generally consist of two small wheels, a standing platform, a pair of handlebars and a rechargeable electric motor — are extremely dangerous in the event of a collision.

The users of motorized scooter — just like like motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians — are extremely vulnerable to suffering catastrophic injuries in a serious collision. For this reason, the City of Columbus might want to consider the institution of scooter regulations.

Should scooters be used on sidewalks?

According to the Columbus city attorney, scooter riders can operate their scooters on roadways and sidewalks. Nevertheless, they must follow all the rules of the road and refrain from operating scooters while intoxicated.

Some community members, however, question whether the current laws are enough. Do electric scooters travel too quickly to be used on sidewalks? Should age requirements apply to the use of electric scooters? Should helmet laws apply to scooter users?

The rise of scooter share services in Columbus

City officials may need to answer the above questions soon — especially in light of new “scooter share” services, which are making electric scooters more accessible in Columbus. Two companies, Bird and LimeBike, are offering cheap electric scooter rental services to community members in our city. Bird requires users to be at least 18, have a driver’s license and adhere to a list of safety instructions. It also offers free helmets for all users.

According to the Columbus police, no serious injuries or fatalities have resulted from scooter crashes yet in the city. However, a police spokesperson also admitted that it could take time for crash statistics to reflect Columbus’ recent rise in electric scooter use.

Were you hurt on a scooter or by a scooter user?

Scooter users who cause accidents and injuries as a result of their negligence may be financially liable for the damages they cause. Furthermore, vehicle drivers who negligently cause accidents and injuries to scooter users could also be liable to pay for the scooter user’s damages. If you suffered injuries in a scooter accident in Columbus, make sure you learn about your legal rights and options.