In a recent Tampa Bay Times article, the introduction of eScooters to the St. Petersburg area appears to have generated excitement among locals and tourists alike. While these motorized scooters are currently permitted on streets and bike lanes across Florida, city officials set a goal to draft an ordinance to regulate the use of these alternative vehicles by the fall of 2019.
Concerns About eScooter Use in the St. Pete Area
While some cities like Tampa have embraced this new technology, including riding these devices on sidewalks, St. Petersburg has expressed some hesitations.
There’s a legitimate concern that downtown urban environments might not be suitable for motorized scooters due to the number of small businesses and restaurants that draw in large numbers of pedestrians. The issue is a hot point when deciding whether or not to allow riders on local pedestrian walkways. Questions surrounding liability and potential injuries that could result if an eScooter and bystander should collide are serious concerns, prompting the city to further evaluate its designated riding areas.
St. Petersburg City Council members plan to speak with residents and get their feedback about the use of motorized scooters within their neighborhood. Government officials also plan to make recommendations on how to regulate these vehicles.
Despite these questions hanging in the air, city officials hope to have eScooters on the streets by the fall. This slow introduction should offer a better assessment of impacts on residential and commercial areas, giving city leaders time to make adjustments as needed to the overall policy.
Proposed eScooter Safety Requirements
With a booming tourist industry and a growing number of residents, St. Petersburg officials believe eScooters are a good transportation option for the city. City leaders haven’t yet laid out all the safety rules surrounding the use of these vehicles, but it appears council members are in favor of limiting riders to low-speed roads and designated bike paths.
What hasn’t been decided is whether helmet use will be required. There’s a concern that requiring a rider to wear head protection could impede the use of this new transportation option. If this important piece of safety equipment isn’t mandatory, St. Petersburg officials plan to still encourage eScooter users to wear one.
A maximum speed limit of 15 miles per hour is another consideration to foster safe driving and pedestrian conditions once the new eScooters have been introduced. Areas that have heavier instances of foot traffic may need even lower speed limits to prevent accidents. The speed will also be dependent on where the eScooters are being driven since some jurisdictions overlap.
Additional Remaining Questions About St. Petersburg eScooters
Vehicle collisions with other motorists, or worse, with pedestrians, isn’t the only risk St. Petersburg City Council members are considering as they create a new eScooter ordinance. Deciding where a rider can park their scooter is another topic that needs a solution before the big roll-out later this year.
Council members must decide how many of these motorized devices are permitted in the city and develop designated parking areas to accommodate them. Without easily accessible docks or corrals, pedestrians may trip or fall over scooters that block sidewalks. In addition to this dilemma, the hours of permitted operation are also on the table to help minimize any late-night accidents due to reduced visibility.
St. Petersburg Attorneys Experienced in eScooter Injury Cases
The City of St. Petersburg has taken the proposed eScooter transportation option seriously, especially considering the recent death in Tampa when a rider was killed by a semi-truck. Unfortunately, many would-be riders have not looked into the liability and dangers of riding motorized scooters.
Collisions involving these eScooters can be devastating as you do not have any protections surrounding you like in a car. Thus, it is important for you to pursue a claim for any damages from injuries you sustain in a eScooter accident, which may include:
- Inability to work
- Time off work
- Lost wages;
- Pain and suffering;
- Ongoing care;
- Property damage;
- Transportation to and from medical appointments.
The skilled and compassionate legal team at Marsalisi Law is here for you every step of the way through this difficult time. We personally address every aspect of your case, even if that means we need to come to you. From the moment you step into our door for a free consultation until your case is resolved, we are here to answer your questions 24/7 and keep you informed of what is happening in your case. Our membership in the Tampa Bay Trial Lawyers Association and our decade of experience is positive proof of the invaluable services we bring to our injured clients. Contact our office today online or at (727) 800-5052 for a free case evaluation to learn what your rights are and how to properly proceed with an eScooter accident case.