Allow me to chime in on the urban scooter phenom. I've owned an electric scooter for several years and ride it downtown with pleasure—in the bike lane and on the road. I carry it on Front Runner when I go to Ogden. No, I don't wear a helmet. I am also a UTA board member and encourage people to take mass transit whenever possible. I almost had a loud argument with a friend who thought trains aren't accessible to folks in wheelchairs (they are). I regularly stand on the stoop of my office and encourage convention attendees at the Salt Palace to hop on Trax or a bus because public transportation downtown is free. UTA has just selected 50 people from a drawing to receive a Hive Pass or a 30-day pass for Lyft or GreenBikes so that they ditch their cars. Scooter companies weren't part of the plan.We have two scooter companies downtown. Every kind of news media has covered them and if you live or work downtown, you've seen fleets of electric scooters on sidewalks, up against buildings or even broken to bits. More so, you've probably seen idiots riding tandem with their infants strapped to their bodies or squeezed between their legs. I have no issue with them except that the riders are mostly on the sidewalks, which is completely illegal. I've seen scooter riders hit people as well as crash. And worse, no law enforcement appears to be ticketing these riders.
Bicycles are considered vehicles in Utah, and our laws should be the same for electric scooters. According to bikeslc.com, bikes are not allowed on sidewalks in downtown Salt Lake City ... nor are in-line skates and skateboards. The site has a handy map to show where wheeled transportation is and isn't allowed in the capital city. Given that the scooters can go up to 15 mph, I think it's only good for law enforcement to ticket these people
Earlier this week, Salt Lake City drafted a set of permanent regulations for scooters. My suggestions: 1. All scooters must have a sticker and an electronic notice on the app in big bold letters that says, "Riding scooters on public sidewalks is illegal and can result in fines." 2. Scooter companies should pay for at least 40 speed limit signs to be placed downtown where permitted. 3. Scooter companies should pay for at least four full-time scooter police via SLCPD to catch violators and ticket them. Without enforcement, there's no hope of safety for people in wheelchairs and pedestrians on sidewalks and in crosswalks.