I’m in Washington, DC and I’m observing the now-ubiquitous, motorized scooters that are all over town. The software is impressive: You use Über or Lyft or someone else, you see where the scooters are randomly on the streets and how much charge is left in each motor. You can reserve one and walk over to it, scan it on your phone, then give a kick-start and be on your way. At your destination, you simply use your phone to end the ride and you’re automatically billed.
The scooters are often left in the middle of the sidewalks or even the middle of the streets. The are not exactly contributing to the aesthetics. The can go about 30 MPH and the riders range from adept to scary. Users are supposed to obey traffic laws, but many ignore them. And some of them ride on the sidewalks which turn out to be smoother than the asphalt streets. I’ve seen people carrying packages on them, and, of course, many looking at their cell phones. I’ve seen a couple at night who look under the influence of something.
I’m not sure if you need a driver’s license or even if you have to be a certain age. I do suspect that personal injury lawyers of all ages are salivating. It’s only a matter of time before someone plows into a baby carriage, or an elderly person with a cane, or a troop of kids on a field trip from school.
I understand the desire to clear the streets of congestion. But doing so by maiming people probably isn’t the ideal solution.