Vicksburg, Mississippi may soon introduce motorized scooters to the city’s downtown areas. The Board of Aldermen and Mayor George Flaggs believe this convenient, cost-effective form of transportation will attract both tourists and new residents. If the ordinance passes, Dallas-based Blue Duck Express will supply the city with scooters for a 6-month trial.
While the mayor and many others believe the scooters are a harmless form of entertainment, others have not expressed similar support. WJTV interviewed our very own Attorney Richard Schwartz, who believes the risk of injury outweighs the perks. In the event of an accident, he says, the rider will likely be liable.
“The problem is there is no infrastructure in place to make right of ways for scooters and bikes,” Mr. Schwartz explains. Overall, these scooters will be a nuisance to both cars and pedestrians.
Dr. Timothy Quinn of Quinn Healthcare echoed this sentiment. He cites a three-fold increase in scooter-related emergency room visits over the last decade. Additionally, some are worried about the way the scooters may affect the mobility of people with disabilities. Desmon Thomas, an Independent Living Specialist at Life Mississippi, believes the city needs to regulate where users place their scooters when their ride is over. In other cities, people often haphazardly drop their scooters in the middle of the sidewalk, creating unnecessary obstacles for motorized wheelchairs.
Vicksburg isn’t the only city struggling with the new scooter fad. According to the National Association of City Transportation Officials, U.S. scooter users took approximately 38.5 million trips in 2018 alone. Historically, scooter-sharing companies have dropped the scooters without warning onto sidewalks in the middle of the night.
Due to the increased prevalence of catastrophic accidents, cities are regulating and even banning the scooters. Some areas have imposed speed limits in heavily-trafficked areas and limited the number of scooter users allowed at any given time. Others have prohibited riding scooters on public roads and sidewalks.
Clearly, many of our cities are wholly unprepared for this trending method of transportation. Some, like scooter company representatives, believe more scooters will force drivers to take greater caution. Others, like Mr. Schwartz, believe it is simply not worth the risk.
Get in Touch with Our Firm for Additional Support
Whether Vicksburg will move forward with the 6-month trial remains to be seen. In the meantime, our attorneys at Richard Schwartz & Associates, P.A. are here to help you understand related liability concerns, as well as your rights on the streets of Vicksburg and surrounding areas. If you’ve been injured in a motorized scooter accident, seeking our qualified and experience legal support will be crucial for your future financial security and recovery.
To learn more about how we can help, schedule your free consultation or call us directly at (601) 869-0696 today.