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Tampa evaluating e-scooter safety, rules after first week of use

City leaders say biggest problem is riders on street, bike lanes
Posted at 2:13 PM, May 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-31 18:07:02-04

E-scooters have been in Tampa for almost a week now. Vendors are still working out kinds and in about a month, the city may have to tailor its rules.

"It's pretty fun. It's super fun,” said Tamara Ruseff.

Lunchtime is a little bit more fun for Ruseff.

"Working downtown, it's nice to be able to pop over to Armature and we're going to try out Channelside today,” she said.

E-Scooters new way to scoot along streets of downtown Tampa

So far, the city hasn't been notified of any accidents or serious injuries from e-scooters.

The biggest bumps according to city transportation leaders have been keeping riders rolling on sidewalks, according to the city's transportation director who spoke to us on the phone.

"We have seen some people riding them in the bike lanes, in the streets, unfortunately in some cases, in the middle of the street,” said Jean Duncan, Director of Transportation for the City of Tampa.

E-scooters are banned on Bayshore Boulevard, 7th Avenue and on the Riverwalk.

Cameras capture e-scooters on Tampa's Riverwalk despite being banned

However, the state could soon pass new legislation allowing you to ride them on streets and in bike lanes.

"I would feel safe in a bike lane. Yeah, but not on the main street like that,” said Jarrod Tatum.

City transportation leaders say vendors have tweaked their geo-fence systems to slow down, then stop e-scooters in banned areas.

Also, remember you don't have to wear a helmet, but just a like a bike, you're taking a chance without one.

"If you're riding on the scooter and you hit a big deflection in a sidewalk and you fall off, just like a trip and fall, folks submit that claim to our risk management and they evaluate to see what level of responsibility the city has,” said Duncan.

Most riders we spotted were not wearing helmets including Ruseff who figures a short lunch ride is worth the risk.

"I'm not driving too fast,” she said.