Many communities in Nevada have debated electric scooters, commonly referred to as e-scooters. This, as rideshare companies such as Lime and Bird seek to make their e-scooters available in cities, and hospital emergency departments report sharp increases in injuries from scooter accidents. Read on for more information about scooter accidents and the laws that govern them. Meanwhile, if a scooter accident left you injured due to the negligence of another party or parties, please call Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC’s Nevada scooter accident lawyers. We have experience with these accidents—among the $180 million we have recovered for our clients, we obtained $175,000 in a Nevada scooter accident. Please call us now to tell us about your scooter accident to see what our Nevada scooter accident attorneys at Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers can do to help you.
The Dangers of Scooters
Local governments across the state and nation are grappling with the need for regulations pertaining to the use of scooters for good reason. USA Today reports that there have been nearly 40,000 people injured in the U.S. on scooters in four years. While most of those injuries have not required hospitalization, some of them have been quite serious and include head injuries, broken bones, and deep lacerations. Researchers believe that increased legislation from local governments and improved rider safety measures are the key to bringing down a scooter injury accident rate that climbed from six per 100,000 rides to 19 per 100,000 rides and more than a dozen deaths in that four-year timeframe.
Despite the injuries, researchers note that the rentable scooters provide a means of active commuting and can cut down on traffic congestion, which is attractive to many communities.
In 2019, state lawmakers passed Assembly Bill 485, which allows local county and city governments to pass ordinances regarding the use of electric scooters, the locations where scooters are permitted, and participation with scooter-share companies.
Other regulations included in the law are:
The requirement that scooter riders be at least 16 years of age to rent an e-scooter
Requires scooter riders to follow the same laws as the riders of bicycles and electric bicycles
Always riding as far to the right side of the street as possible.
Two riders may travel side by side, but should ride single file where traffic is present.
Hand signals should be used for turns and stops.
Riders must ride at least three feet from cars.
It is illegal to hang onto another vehicle while riding.
Lamps and reflectors must be used when riding at night to make the apparatus visible to drivers.
Because the state passed the bill, permitting the use of scooters and regulating them like bicycles or electric bicycles, the law is in effect for all areas in which local governments do not put forth their own requirements for riders.
Las Vegas Says “No Thanks” to the Dockless Model
Many of the popular e-scooter rental programs use a business model that involves dockless scooters. What this means is that, when a person rents a scooter from the company’s app, they are directed to the location of the nearest available scooter. They are permitted to operate this scooter and park it wherever their trip ends. The next rider can then rent the scooter at that new location. Unfortunately, this has led to issues of scooters left where they pose hazards to other users of the sidewalk, such as pedestrians, or on the street, where they pose hazards to motorists.
The Las Vegas city council released a statement that informed residents that scooter rentals are permitted at storefront locations provided they are dropped off at the same location. However, the statement noted, companies providing dockless scooters have not been licensed to provide their services in Las Vegas. County commissioners also stated that some areas could accommodate scooters—such as the UNLV campus—they would never accept them on the Strip.
Reno’s Pilot Program
Reno approved two new ordinances to regulate the use of scooters within the city, whether provided by ride-share companies or privately owned. Those ordinances included requiring scooter riders to follow bicycle laws, and putting into place local regulations as to the provision of dockless scooters within the city by explicit agreement between the rental companies and the city.
Following an eight-month-long pilot program, the Reno city council continued to discuss whether e-scooters were an appropriate method of transport in the city, whether helmet use should be required by scooter riders, how many rentable scooters the city could handle, and which companies should provide them.
City officials stated that 35 percent of the scooter rides partaken during the pilot program replaced car rides, and this falls in line with the city’s sustainability goals. They also noted that the accident rates for scooters during the pilot was the same or lower than the accident rates for bicycles and pedestrians in the city. This sounds positive, except that one recent year marked the deadliest year for pedestrians in Reno in at least the last five years, and the 16 pedestrian deaths during that twelve-month time frame were double the national average (and 12 percent higher than the state average).
Henderson Gives It a Try
Recently, a Henderson spokesperson stated that the city was in preliminary discussions with Bird to enter a temporary operating agreement that would provide 500 rentable scooters. A spokesperson with the advisor firm representing Bird noted that scooters could provide a valuable option in low-income, high-risk areas.
Right for Downtown Summerlin?
When Bird’s representative first appeared before Clark County officials to pitch the idea of e-scooters and offered to do a test run in downtown Summerlin Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick balked at the idea, stating that the area is already so congested that there would be nowhere to put the scooters.
She also cited some frequent causes of debate in the nation-wide discussion about rentable scooters:
Who regulates the use of the scooters?
Who has liability if someone gets injured while riding a scooter?
Were You Injured in a Nevada Scooter Accident?
If you were injured in an accident involving a scooter, you can pursue recovery of your damages through a personal injury lawsuit.
Let the experienced scooter accident lawyers at Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC, help you to understand your legal options. Contact us today online or by calling (702) 382-9797.
Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC
626 S 10th St
Las Vegas, NV 89101