Over the past few years, e-scooters have become a popular mode of transportation throughout South Florida. Their popularity is apparent from the scooters lined up on sidewalks from Fort Lauderdale to Miami Beach and even in cities like Coral Gables. According to the City of Fort Lauderdale, an average of 481 residents ride e-scooters daily. In Miami, approximately half a million people rode e-scooters in the first eight months of 2019.
However, riding e-scooters is not without risk. According to an article in the Sun Sentinel, more than 100 people were treated at the emergency department of the Broward Health Medical Center in 2019 due to e-scooter injuries. A third of those were head injuries, which is consistent with data from nationwide studies. E-scooter companies, such as Bird and Lime, now provide e-scooter safety procedures on their websites or within their apps.
E-Scooter Safety Tips
It takes users on average two minutes to successfully pay for and begin riding their e-scooter around town. However, many users ride around Miami without exercising proper caution or safety, which may result in injury.
To avoid potential hazards, here are a few e-scooter safety tips provided by Bird:
- Be on the lookout for pedestrians. – Unless local law requires it, avoid riding on sidewalks. For example, the City of Miami states users can legally ride on sidewalks. If you choose to ride on a sidewalk, pay attention to pedestrians. Users are also encouraged to utilize bike lanes if available.
- Park responsibly. – When you are ready to park your e-scooter, make sure to stay clear of walkways, driveways, ramps, fire hydrants, or main streets. Instead, park your ride close to the curb facing the street and on an even surface. Various locations in Miami-Dade provide “parking corrals” in which you are encouraged to station your e-scooter.
- Conduct a pre-ride, e-scooter safety check. – Before hopping on your e-scooter, make sure the wheels are in good condition and the brakes are functioning properly.
- Be mindful of road obstructions. – With construction all around Miami, potholes and other road obstructions are highly common. When operating your e-scooter, be mindful of these obstructions and avoid them if possible to protect yourself from possible injury.
- Stay alert and distraction-free. – Always ride with two hands on your e-scooter, remove headphones before riding, be aware of your surroundings, and start slow until you get the hang of it.
- Protect your head. – While helmets are not required by the City of Miami to ride an e-scooter, it is highly recommended.
Although it may seem like a lot to consider before hopping on an e-scooter, these safety precautions are an easy and simple way to protect you from any potential harm or injury.
Miami-Dade E-Scooter Safety Laws
While e-scooter companies have their own set of rules that consumers must follow, each county that allows e-scooters also have their own set of laws that must be applied when riding an e-scooter.
For Miami-Dade County, the laws are as follows:
- Users must be 18 years of age or older and must have a valid driver’s license, state identification, or passport which must be scanned or provided to vendors.
- Parents may not allow minor children to use scooters.
- Users are not required to wear helmets on e-scooters but helmet use is strongly recommended.
- Only one person at a time may ride an e-scooter.
- E-scooters cannot exceed 15 miles per hour on streets and bike lanes. If riding on a sidewalk, e-scooters cannot exceed 7 miles per hour.
The Miami Parking Authority (MPA) ensures that all Miami-Dade e-scooter laws are being followed. MPA will issue a $25.00 ticket and impound any scooters parked improperly. Underage riders or any unsafe behavior will result in a $100.00 fine against the scooter vendor, which will then be collected, from the violating riders.
To report underage riders, double riders, or unsafe behavior, you may send a picture of proof with the scooter serial number to email@example.com. For more information regarding the City of Miami e-scooter safety rules, visit the City of Miami online.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident as a result of riding an e-scooter, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact the office of Panter, Panter & Sampedro for a free consultation at (305) 662-6178 or visit PanterLaw.com. Let our family help your family.
Krauth, D. and Fossi, C. – “E-Scooter Rides on the Rise Along With Accidents.” (August 12, 2019) Retrieved on February 25, 2020, from https://nbcmiami.com/news/local/e-scooter-rides-on-the-rise-along-with-accidents/75733/
How to Lime Safely (n.d.) Retrieved on February 25, 2020, from https://v1.li.me/how-to-lime