Senate Bill Proposes Regulation on Hybrid Rental Scooters
When electric scooter companies Bird and Lime placed their electric scooters in Lafayette, there were no ordinances in place to govern their use on the city’s streets. Now a bill introduced by Lafayette Senator Page Cortez gives more clarity to regulation.
“They were used by a lot of people for, I guess maybe a week or so, and then the mayor, Joel Robideaux, says that they were not defined in state law and they didn’t know how to deal with them,” said Cortez.
The scooters would be able to be operated on roads which have a speed limit of 25 miles per hour or less. It would also require minors to wear a helmet while operating the scooters.
Cortez said the bill came from local government not knowing how to regulate because the scooter’s hybrid design didn’t fit the criteria of either a motorcycle or a bicycle.
“I wouldn’t say that they are not safe. I would say right now it is sort of the wild west in that there are no criteria with which to call them,” said Cortez.
Cortez says his bill would help answer many questions that need to be defined within state law, while at the same time not restricting municipalities and parishes from passing ordinances in dealing with scooters as well.
“Should you have to wear a helmet? Should you have to park them in a certain area? Can they obstruct the sidewalk? Do you have to have insurance? Who is liable if someone gets hurt on them because they are owned by third-party companies?” said Cortez.