When dockless electric scooters hit the streets of San Francisco, local reactions were mixed. Some enjoyed having a convenient, green transportation solution available in traffic-congested downtown. Others were angered by riders on sidewalks and discarded scooters in the walkway. The conflict forced city officials to act, and dockless scooters were banned from San Francisco. However, that ban was only temporary, and the city could soon see these vehicles return to our streets. Is San Francisco ready?
Why Are Dockless Scooters Returning to San Francisco?
After banning dockless scooters, the city created a pilot program to safely roll out rental scooters in San Francisco. This program would allow companies to release 1,250 scooters on the streets, but only after those companies were vetted by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA).
Many companies submitted proposals to the agency, including scooter giants Lime and Bird. But in the end, SFMTA announced that proposals from Scoot and Skip were accepted into the pilot program. Both companies will be allowed to run 625 scooters on city streets for six months starting in October. If the trial goes well, then more scooters could be approved. However, many people remain skeptical about the program’s chances of success.
The Problem with Dockless Scooters
Though San Francisco has instituted rules to make these vehicles safer for users and pedestrians, other cities with similar rules are having problems. In nearby San Jose, a mother and her 2-year-old child were leaving their apartment when a dockless scooter rider struck the child. The toddler managed to escape serious injury, but the person illegally riding on the sidewalk left the scene before authorities arrived.
In other incidents, scooter riders and pedestrians have suffered lacerations, bone fractures and even intercranial bleeding. Hospitals are reporting an increase in the number of scooter-related injuries, and some are wondering who will be held liable for the incurred medical costs.
Accident reports, and calls to action are flooding dockless scooter companies. Some are even asking these companies to reveal who was riding a scooter when an accident occurred. But these companies are not cooperating. Instead, they are only offering to ban negligent riders after investigating reported incidents.
Do you think dockless scooter companies should be held responsible for the injuries caused by the riders of their scooters? Should these companies be forced to reveal the identity of the riders who cause these accidents? Will San Francisco continue to have these problems when these scooters are released on our streets in October? The personal injury attorneys at Mary Alexander & Associates, P.C. will continue to monitor the situation. Contact our office if you suffer an injury in a scooter collision and you want to learn more about your legal rights.