It’s been no secret that the rise of electric scooters in recent years throughout popular cities has been controversial. Multiple injuries and deaths have occurred due to riders being reckless on the streets or drivers not paying attention to them speeding by the road. A few months ago, the mayor of Nashville even threatened to ban these scooters if the city didn’t take more safety measures against them.
In July, the Metro Council voted to keep electric scooters in Nashville for now, but they also decided to update some of the city’s safety regulations. Both drivers and scooter commuters should be aware of these changes so they can get around the city safely and legally.
Less scooters in the city
Nashville plans on putting a cap on the number of operators in the city to decrease the number of scooters lying on the streets. This, in turn, will decrease the number of people using them all at once and make them less likely to crash into cars, pedestrians or each other. Property owners will also not have to deal with an oversaturation of scooters lying near their areas thanks to two full-time employees per 100 scooters taking more time to equally distribute them throughout the city.
More signs and slow zones
Several first-time riders often display reckless behavior because there isn’t anything on the streets warning them where they can or cannot take their scooters. Operators now must pay up to $10,000 for Metro to put up signs throughout the city warning residents on which sidewalks are prohibited. They also must warn riders about the newly established slow zones (where riders can’t go above 8 mph) and no ride zones. The slow zones include Broadway between 7th Avenue and Cumberland River as well as 2nd Avenue between Broadway and Union Street. The no-ride zones consist of any Metropolitan greenways and parks.
Many of the scooter accidents that have occurred in recent years tend to happen at nighttime. Most riders in the later hours are often drunk, have a difficult time seeing in the dark or both. Now scooter rides won’t be available after 10 p.m. on weekdays and 11 p.m. on weekends and holidays.
Only time will tell if these new regulations will decrease the number of scooter accidents in the city. In the meantime, electric scooter riders and drivers in Nashville should know what legal options are available to them if they get in an accident.