Fort Lauderdale was the first city in the state of Florida to allow e-scooter companies to deploy their vehicles on city streets for use.
This decision brought big changes to the way some people travel in the city. However, not all of these changes were positive. Severe injury accidents involving electric scooters have been on the rise.
City officials are now working to create e-scooter laws that will help protect riders, cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists from harm.
Current, Proposed, and Potential Laws and Limits
Due to safety concerns for pedestrians and e-scooter riders, Fort Lauderdale imposed new rules about the places where people can use e-scooters. Currently e-scooter riders may only drive on sidewalks, due to a statewide restriction on the vehicles from operating on the road or in bike lanes.
However, during peak pedestrian traffic or in areas that have heavy foot traffic, an e-scooter cannot operate on the sidewalks at all. Additionally, a new law bans the use of e-scooters on the beach during the summer, spring break, and the Tortuga Festival.
City officials are currently discussing more limitations on e-scooter, to address safety concerns. Proposed legislation includes:
- Maximum speed of 15 miles per hour
- Prohibiting scooters from busy areas
- Introducing “geofencing” to stop e-scooters entering restricted areas
- Adding parking corrals to control where e-scooters may park
Recent E-scooter Injuries in Fort Lauderdale and Florida
Changes to e-scooter regulations became a serious topic of conversation for the city after scooters became the source of numerous injuries. Between the months of November and April, when companies first introduced the vehicles, there was an average of 3,000 rides per week in Fort Lauderdale.
However, during this time, there were also 74 e-scooter accidents that required emergency medical attention. One of these crashes, which occurred during the spring of 2019, resulted in the death of an e-scooter rider, 27-year-old Mathias Huff. A car hit Huff’s scooter while in traffic, resulting in fatal injuries.
These accidents demonstrate the need to improve legislation to keep everyone safe.
Looking Ahead: The Future of E-scooters in Fort Lauderdale
Although the permit to operate motorized scooters expired in November 2019, Fort Lauderdale officials granted an extension on this permit because of the vehicles’ popularity in the city.
Call Rosen & Ohr, P.A If You Were Injured on an E-scooter
E-scooter accidents happen frequently, and it is possible for riders and others to suffer severe and lasting harm if they are involved in one.
Contact a knowledgeable scooter accident attorney at Rosen & Ohr, P.A. to schedule a FREE consultation if you or someone close to you was hurt by a negligent driver, scooter rider, municipal entity, or scooter company. We will help you determine who is liable for your injuries and can help you seek justice.