City officials making new rules for electric scooters in Elkhart
ELKHART, Ind. --- Micro-mobility company Bird launched it’s electric scooter program along Main and Franklin St. in Elkhart during mid-April, but the city says officers have been struggling to keep riders safe.
“They’re right in the middle of the road. They’re jumping off the sidewalks weaving in and out of cars right over here by the bank and everything so I’m worried about them getting hit," said Resident, Chris Meyers.
Residents have been torn over the e-scooter program for the past several months. The city is also concerned about liability. Because of that, they decided to create a memorandum with the board of public works eliminating them from being legally responsible should anyone get injured while riding.
“We have a bicycle, skateboard ordinance, but the e-scooters are not included in our current ordinance. So the city legal department right now is trying to work on either a new ordinance or amending the bicycle ordinance to include these e-scooters," said Kevin Bullard, Councilman-at large.
Bullard says despite the new memorandum not having the e-scooters within a city ordinance has made it difficult for police officers to enforce the driving age restriction as many riders tend to be under the required 18 years of age.
“You’ve got someone that’s walking out of a business and then you have a scooter coming at you at 15 miles an hour you know someone’s gonna get hurt. So the police department really are frustrated because their hands are tied," said Bullard.
Meyers says if they could find a way to regulate the speeds for kids he thinks its a great way to get around his community.
“I'd just like to see 'em not only in the city, but the outskirts of the cities. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of em just with the little kids and stuff riding em in and out that’s the main concern so," said Meyers.
Bullard says the city is still working on the ordinance at this time.