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Dangerous Scooters Back in Downtown Indianapolis

Steve Wagner

Downtown Indy’s Motorized Scooters Rules for the Road

As of September 4, those popular dockless scooter services led by companies Bird and Lime are back on the Downtown Indianapolis’s Circle City scene after a brief request to pause by the city. The scooters can go up to speeds of 15mph and are meant to assist with daily commutes, boost tourism and ease up on transportation congestion in the downtown area.

While the electric scooters may offer great alternatives for both residents and tourists, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police have reported one rider in Downtown Indianapolis was recently injured when he was struck by a car pulling out of a garage on South Meridian Street between Washington and Maryland streets, just as the evening commute began.

The victim was taken to an area hospital with a minor head injury and the driver of the car wasn’t charged. A few things could have possibly prevented the accident as the scooter operator was riding on the sidewalk when the car hit him, and the operator was not wearing a helmet, a safeguard that is proven to protect the brain from a traumatic injury. Dockless scooter drivers hold the responsibility not to ride on the sidewalk and trails as the city code forbids it and operators are encouraged to always wear a helmet.

Shared Mobility Device Safety Tips for Riders

The brief pause in the city allowing the scooters on the streets this year came after improper use by riders. Everyone who chooses to ride a motorized scooter or any shared mobility device and shares Downtown Indy traffic space should be following a set of safety guidelines sparked by city officials.

  1. Always wear a helmet.
  2. Travel with one user per device.
  3. Follow all traffic laws and don’t ignore road closures just because a scooter may be able to maneuver through small spaces.
  4. Never use while controlling an animal or while carrying large packages.
  5. Don’t block entrances or exits of businesses or parking garages.
  6. Avoid using a phone because distracted riding and driving puts everyone at risk.
  7. Never ride on sidewalks or trails.
  8. Park upright, near bike racks or docking stations.
  9. When parking, leave at least 4 feet of unobstructed passageway.
  10. Assume others may not see you so look ahead for hazards or situations to avoid that may cause you to fall or crash like wild animals, trash, rocks, potholes, and grates or train tracks.

Drivers Need to Treat Motorized Scooters as Any Other Vehicle

There is a weakened awareness of drivers to watch out and treat the electric scooters as motorized vehicles. If you are a car or truck driver, share the road and follow these rules for keeping all motorists safe, including those operating a shared mobility device. These rules apply to road sharing with bicyclists as well.

  1. Don’t be a distracted driver or engage in activity that could divert attention away from driving. All distractions endanger drivers, passengers, bicyclists, scooter operators and pedestrians.
  2. Yield to scooters as you would motorists. This will help avoid turning in front of a rider traveling on the road, often at an intersection, business exit or driveway.
  3. In parking lots, at stop signs, when backing up, or when parking, search your surroundings for other vehicles, including bicycles and scooters.
  4. Drivers turning right on red should look to the right and behind to avoid hitting a scooter approaching from the right rear. Stop completely and look left-right-left and behind before turning right on red.
  5. Obey the speed limit, reduce speed for road conditions and follow the law to avoid a crash.
  6. Give scooters room. Do not pass too closely.

Motorized scooter operators have every right to the roadways that cars, trucks and bikes do, so our eyes should be trained to watch for them as they are expected to share the space and travel alongside us more often in the future.

All Those Injured in Accidents Deserve Representation

If you have suffered injuries as a result of a motorized scooter or shared mobility device accident, the attorneys at Wagner Reese can assist you in pursuing the compensation you deserve and to cover a loss of wages and medical bills while injured. There is no risk, as we never collect any kind of fee unless your case is settled or won.

Connect with us by submitting our online form, and our attorneys will review your information and respond promptly. If you wish to speak directly with us, please call (888) 204-8440.

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