New Changes to Arizona Scooter Laws

Lerner & Rowe Injury Attorneys
New Changes to Arizona Scooter Laws

Arizona Senate Bill 1398 (SB1398) was passed on April 22, 2019 and set new, statewide definitions for small scooters. With the burgeoning popularity of electric scooter purchases and rentals, legislators wanted to established unified Arizona scooter laws in order to avoid neighboring municipalities from establishing conflicting rules.

SB 1398 establishes definitions for two types of scooters — “electric miniature scooter” and “electric standup scooter.” The new Arizona scooter laws use the following criteria:

Electric Miniature Scooter

  • Weighs less than 30 pounds
  • Has two or three wheels
  • Has handlebars
  • Has a floorboard on which a person may stand while riding
  • Is powered by an electric motor or human power, or both
  • Has a maximum speed that does not exceed 10 miles per hour, with or without human propulsion, on a paved surface

Electric Standup Scooter

  • Weighs less than 75 pounds
  • Has two or three wheels
  • Has handlebars
  • Has a floorboard on which a person may stand while riding
  • Is powered by an electric motor or human power, or both
  • Has a maximum speed that does not exceed 20 miles per hour, with or without human propulsion, on a paved surface
  • Does not include an electric miniature scooter

The new Arizona scooter laws give riders of the scooters listed above the same rights and responsibilities as bicycle riders, unless otherwise regulated by a local municipality. Scooters faster and more powerful than the ones defined above “must have a unique identification that consists of letters or numbers, or both, and that is visible from a distance of at least five feet.”

The rules establish clear guidelines that individual towns can base their own local laws on. SB1398 states that, “A local authority may consider the environmental benefits and traffic benefits of electric bicycles, electric miniature scooters and electric standup scooters when regulating.” This allows some municipalities to be more strict or lenient with how they govern electric scooters, without conflicting with neighboring municipalities.

Please Use Caution While Riding Electric Scooters

The attorneys at Lerner and Rowe are pleased that Arizona has provided more clarity on electric scooters and how riders are treated. The new Arizona scooter laws provide concise definitions that will help scooter riders and everyone that shares the road with them. Having said that, we urge you to be cautious any time you’re on an electric scooter. Just because you drive safely and obey the rules of the road doesn’t mean that everyone around you does.

If you’ve been injured in an electric scooter accident, please contact Lerner and Rowe immediately. Our team will carefully and compassionately listen to your situation, and fight hard in order to get you the largest settlement possible. You can stop by our office for a free consultation Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. We’re also available 24/7 by phone at 602-977-1900 or online through our LiveChat and contact form. Kindly reach out today so that we may get started on your case.

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.

Phoenix Rental Scooter Crashes and Injury Concerns

Lerner & Rowe Injury Attorneys
Rideshare Electric Scooter Rentals

Several startup electric scooter rental companies compete for a new eco-friendly transportation market in the Phoenix Valley.

While these companies vie for placement as the top provider of the recently released dockless, battery-powered scooters in various cities around the country, Arizona cities debate safety issues. Main concerns brought up circle around rider, pedestrian, bicyclist and other motorists.

A few injury accidents involving rented motorized scooters have already been reported and riders may soon find themselves in need of a Phoenix scooter accident lawyer that accepts scooter injury cases.

Arizona Rental Scooter Heavyweights

Several companies have emerged in the rental scooter business. Electric shooter rental companies Bird and Lime both are current leaders in the industry. Both are under tremendous pressure to rapidly expand and corner the market by outperforming each other and a number of other contenders.

Bird Scooters Migrate to Arizona

Bird Scooters is the startup based in Santa Monica, California, founded and ran by Travis VanderZanden, a former Lyft and Uber executive. Launched in September 2017, the company loosely modeled itself after the ridesharing companies.

Bird says its top priority is the safety of its riders, as well as, the members of the communities where they deploy their scooters. Another part of Bird’s pledge to enhance safety and cooperation with individual municipalities is to retrieve every Bird scooters every night from around every city in which they are located.

Then, perform vehicle inspections and appropriate maintenance to ensure they remain in safe working order and redeposit them in popular pickup areas the following morning, so discarded scooters do not clutter up neighborhoods.

Lime Scooter Rental Injury

Lime Scooters Add a New Twist to AZ Transportation Options

Lime Scooters are part of the LimeBike company, which began its dock free smart mobility enterprise with rentable electric bikes. Their electric scooter program modeled after their bike sharing program, which got its start in July 2017.

The San Mateo, California based company has three co-founders with varied professional backgrounds, including Facebook and Square. Their electric scooters are dubbed “Lime-S” and like Bird, says safety, along with proper parking, are their top priorities

and also claim they pick up their scooters nightly for recharging and redeposit them in high demand locations each morning.

Scooter Startup Similarities

Scooter renters will not find much difference between the various scooter startups. Each company utilize battery-powered scooters that are dockless, so renters can pick up and drop off a scooter anywhere.

Unlike traditional dock-based systems, these scooters require no public funding or subsidies. This makes it possible for cities not to incur costs where deployed. All the various scooters travel at roughly the same speeds, up to about 15 miles per hour.

Additionally, they use apps to unlock and lock the vehicles. Each of the scooter rental apps also use some combination of Bluetooth, cellular data and GPS.

Each company does use similar technologies, but Lime says it is building software to detect if the scooters fall over or are being stolen. On the flip side, Bird claims to have the operational know-how required to run an on-demand transit network.

Otherwise, there is not much that sets one apart from the other. Even pricing is similar, with most services costing $1 for unlocking and about 15 cents per minute in most areas.

Bird Scooter, Lime Scooters, Lime Scooter Rentals
How Scooter Renting Works

Renting a scooter from either Bird or Lime is also basically the same and fairly simple. Use a smartphone app to find and unlock a scooter to start your ride. Once you reach your destination, use the same app to lock the scooter up again. Scooters are available on a first-come, first served basis.

To pay for your rides, you use a credit card to purchase credits for future rentals. Riders must be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license that must be scanned into the system on before your first rental.

Riders must also wear a helmet, and no doubling up allowed. Where you can and cannot ride varies based on individual city ordinances. But, most do not allow riding on sidewalks. Instead cities require scooters to use bike lanes.

The problem all scooter startups are facing is renters leaving scooters in inappropriate parking spots. This is also one of the biggest issues Arizona cities are facing when tackling the need for new regulations.

Trip hazards from improperly placed scooters are one of many areas in which a Phoenix scooter accident lawyer might be required to handle distinct personal injury claims.

Regulation Attempts

The next wave in eco-friendly mobility vehicles has prompted Arizona cities to scramble to get suitable rules in place. However, with the quick emergence of so many rentable electric scooters from multiple companies, most municipalities have ran into problems. These problems include trying to keep pace with both regulations and oversight.

Currently, both Bird and Lime have scooters available for rent in Scottsdale and Tempe. Phoenix will most likely end up the next city on the list to get scooter rentals as Lime already has LimeBikes lining its sidewalks.

How Regulations Vary

Arizona cities are handling regulations of the new transportation craze in very different ways. According to KJZZ radio news magazine, Scottsdale originally filed a cease and desist order against Bird scooters. But, later had a change of heart. The city will now allow rentable scooters, if they are:

  1. Only used on roads, not sidewalks or trails.
  2. Not allowed in parks or parking garages.
  3. Not staged for rent on sidewalks.

In Tempe, government officials took a more hands-off approach. Doing so while they simultaneously form regulations for both motorized bicycle and scooter rentals. In direct contrast, KJZZ reported that Phoenix banned motorized scooters completely from parks and all self-propelled, rideable vehicles with two wheels, a motor and a deck from roads.

As cities play catch up with appropriate regulations for the new technology, electric scooter crashes and other personal injuries could skyrocket.

Without properly enforced regulations appropriate to the industry, riders, pedestrians, bicyclists and other motorists may soon find themselves looking for a Phoenix scooter accident lawyer that accepts scooter injury cases for representation in a wide variety of personal injury claims.

Rideshare Scooter Accidents

While most people are comfortable riding a bicycle, even one with a motor, not everyone has the coordination or confidence to ride a wobbly standup scooter. Especially with a motor that allows riders to travel up to 15 miles per hour.

Even at this fairly low rate of speed, crashing into a stationary object could cause serious injury. Personal injuries from scooter accidents could be even more severe if riders are hit by motor vehicles traveling at higher velocities, especially if the rider is not wearing the required helmet.

Real Life Scooter Injuries

It’s no secret that electric scooters are not only in Arizona, but also in hundreds of US cities nationwide. Since they haven’t been around long, the government has not begun formal tracking and recording of incidents. Interestingly, neither have the scooter companies- or at least they aren’t releasing this information.

Merely a few months from the Scottsdale and Tempe integrations, hundreds of miles away in the Silicon Valley, injuries from scooters skyrocketed. These injuries included:

  • Broken ribs and arms
  • Collapsed lungs
  • Broken collarbones and scapulas
  • Ruptured spleens
  • Broken femurs and ankles
  • Numerous stitches
  • Black eyes
  • Head fractures
  • Full body abrasions

Some of these injuries threatened the life of the victim. Others permanently paralyzed. In more than one instance, these injuries were caused by scooter malfunctions, like the brakes not working. Some scooter companies have gone so far as to recall some scooter models- when the batteries ignited in flame and the handlebars came off while in use. 

If you suffer from one of these injuries, you need a Phoenix scooter accident lawyer to fight for the compensation you deserve. 

Liability & Rental Agreements

To protect their interests, scooter rental companies have attempted to shield themselves from liability. Bird’s rental agreements include a waiver of liability and release from personal injuries and property damage. As does Lime’s user agreements.

While each agreement can protect the companies from liability for some scooter accidents, it does not mean you have no legal recourse if injured. Our knowledgeable Phoenix scooter accident lawyer can help you explore your rights and determine whether the rental company could be held at least partially responsible through an act of negligence.

Potential Causes of Scooter Accidents

Besides injuries caused by scooter defects or malfunctions, other situations that could cause an accident include:

  • Rider errors;
  • Road hazards;
  • Reckless driving while crossing intersections;
  • Scooters hitting pedestrians or cyclists;
  • Motor vehicles hitting scooters they did not see; and,
  • Trip and falls caused by improperly parked scooters.

Other Scooter Safety Concerns

Other safety concerns of the rented scooters include whether rental scooters undergo the same stringent tests required for other motorized vehicles before receiving approval for use on city streets.

There are also numerous online photos depicting broken scooters with damages presumably from regular wear-and-tear. Which would potentially occur more rapidly due to the higher volume of use and abuse.

According to Quartz, Bird uses rebranded versions of Xiamomi’s electric scooter and Lime uses a proprietary design based on a copied design used by dozens of Asian companies.

Concern over exploding batteries, also prompted the digital news outlet to ask about testing. Only fellow competitor Spin confirmed its scooters were certified safe by UL (Underwriters Laboratories) for electronics safety standards.

2019 Update: Downtown Phoenix Progress

As of January 2019, it looks like downtown Phoenix will be getting electric scooters as soon as this upcoming spring. The scooters will enter through a pilot program. Businesses and vendors support the decision; however, locals and residents have not been asked their opinion. 

Hire a Top Phoenix Scooter Accident Lawyer

The new dock-free electric scooters may seem like an ingenious, low-cost way to travel around town on short trips, but the harsh reality is they have already caused several injuries, as well as, criminal complaints and civil lawsuits.

If you have been involved in a scooter-related accident, whether as a rider, pedestrian, bicyclist or motorist, call a Phoenix scooter accident lawyer at Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys. We now accept cases for scooter-related injuries. Our personal injury attorneys have the experience you need to pursue a claim.

Visit our office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for a free consultation. You can also use our convenient online LiveChat feature, or you can give us a call anytime at 844-977-1900.

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

Electric Scooter Accidents are Legitimate Personal Injury Cases

Lerner & Rowe Injury Attorneys
Rideshare scooter accidents
Injured in a Tempe electric accident? Call Lerner and Rowe today!

Most people have heard about rideshare services like Uber and Lyft. Few are aware of the fact that electric scooter rideshare services are also available. In particular, the electric scooter company Lime has emerged as a successful business in the Tempe area and beyond. Although electric scooters like those offered by Lime are a blast to ride, they have the potential to backfire in a big way.

Electric scooter accidents are particularly painful as the rider has no protection. Electric scooter riders really are at the mercy of automobile drivers as well as bicyclists, pedestrians and others on roads and sidewalks.

If you are hurt while riding a rental scooter, harmed by a defective scooter or suffer any type of loss resulting from an electric scooter crash, reach out to our Tempe electric scooter accident legal team for representation. We will fiercely advocate on your behalf in and out of court to obtain the compensation you deserve.

Electric Scooters are More Dangerous Than They Seem

Take a close look at electric scooter riders the next time you spot one around Tempe. If you look closely, you will see these they have minimal protection while riding around town. Though some electric scooter renters and owners wear helmets, they rarely wear any other form of protection in the event of a fall or crash.

A 38-year-old Tempe resident was killed while riding an electric scooter. The scooter rider was struck by a sport utility vehicle at the intersection of Priest Drive and 16th Street. The victim later died from serious injuries at the hospital.

It appears as though the driver of the sport utility vehicle was inebriated at the time he struck the scooter rider. If the victim were operating a traditional motor vehicle, he might have survived the accident.

This is just one of many examples of electric scooter accidents that have ended, ruined or significantly altered lives.

Electric Scooter Accidents are on the Rise

Electric scooters are nearing a mainstream tipping point. These cute little machines are affordable, fun and chic. Cash-strapped millennials and members of Generation Z have gravitated toward electric scooters, mopeds and ridesharing services. The shift began as traditional automobiles costs rise and become quite expensive.

Add in the fact that the average youngster has to pay an exorbitant amount of money to obtain auto insurance and it is easy to understand why electric scooters are popular.

The rise in electric scooter accidents is not completely attributable to their increasing popularity. Electric scooters travel around 15 miles per hour. This rate of speed might not seem fast at first glance yet it is quite speedy when you are standing upright on a scooter’s flat base without any form of protection.

Electric scooters pose a threat to the rider as well as bicyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and even some vehicles. An electric scooter traveling at 15 – 20 miles per hour really can cause significant damage to an automobile.

The Causes of Electric Scooter Accidents

Careless riding is not the sole cause of electric scooter accidents. Some electric scooters have mechanical defects. As an example, some electric scooter brakes have the potential lock up, causing the rider to fall and suffer painful injuries.

Anything from road hazards to third-parties who fail to provide due care (negligence) and slick surfaces can cause a nasty accident.

Some electric scooter rental companies are so busy that they do not have enough time between riders to verify the scooters are still safe and fully functional. This unfortunate truth makes it so that companies have no idea anything is wrong with their scooters. That is until someone suffers a painful injury.

A fall from a scooter or a crash with another vehicle has the potential to cause a concussion. Riders could also suffer broken bones, strains, sprains, spinal cord damage and even death.

Injured in a Tempe Electric Scooter Accident? Contact Us

If you are hurt in any way or suffer any type of loss in a Tempe electric scooter accident, reach out to our legal team. We welcome all parties injured in electric scooter accidents, even if fault for the accident is unclear. If another person, group or institution is even slightly responsible for the accident, it still might be possible to obtain compensation.

Contact us today to get the ball rolling on your personal injury case. Give the best attorneys in Arizona a call at 844-977-1900 to schedule a free consultation. You can also get in touch with us via our LiveChat feature.

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.