SA Council To Approve New Scooter Regulations

At the halfway point of a pilot project to regulate the booming electric scooter industry, San Antonio's city council today will look at further restrictions, but physicians say there is something missing, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.

Dr. Diana Fite, who is an emergency room doctor and Texas Medical Association board member, says there is too much emphasis on making the scooters fit with the current infrastructure and not enough on making them safe to ride.

"When I see people riding these without helmets, my definite concern is a head injury that could be deadly," she says.

While the current scooter rules suggest that riders wear a helmet, it's not against the law to go without. The scooter companies will mail riders a free helmet, but a shipping charge is added and delivery is far from quick, meaning the promotion is unavailable to tourists, who may come to San Antonio for a quick trip and want to give the scooters a try.

Dr. Fite says more should be done to make helmets easier to acquire, and the city should launch a campaign to get more daily riders to wear one, like what was done with bicycles.

"The public has finally begun to accept that. You see a lot more bikers wearing helmets. These scooters can go faster than a bicycle. I've seen that."

A new study done by Consumer Reports found that, nationwide, there have been more than 1,500 accidents and four deaths linked to scooters since 2017.

In San Antonio, the fire department has been called to 91 injuries since just September. There may be more, assuming riders took themselves to the emergency room.

Today, council will consider a moratorium on permits and hours of operation will be limited to the time from six in the morning to ten at night. They're also looking at requiring scooter companies to remove vehicles from some locations because, at night, they are blocking areas that get pressure washed.

Further down the line, John Jacks, Director of the Center City Development, says they're looking at creating designated parking zones for scooters.

"Imagine if you went to the grocery stores and spaces are not marked. Everybody parked haphazardly everywhere. It gives people the opportunity to make a good decision."

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