The growing popularity of electric scooters is not surprising. These vehicles offer a sustainable mode of transportation that is convenient and affordable. At this point, they are not allowed on the city streets of Fort Collins, but times are about to change.
The City of Fort Collins transportation planning department and Colorado State University have been in discussions about putting regulations in place to ease e-scooters in. Some of the issues include how to ensure that riders are properly educated in e-scooter use, and where the scooters can be parked and operated to avoid risks to pedestrians or other vehicles, or cause further traffic congestion.
Proposed Rules and Regulations
When e-scooters began to appear in Denver, confusion reigned. Drivers, e-scooter riders, and pedestrians were unsure where scooters were allowed—which, initially, was sidewalks only, since when they first appeared, e-scooters were classified as “toys.”
As reported by the Denver Post, in January 2019, the Denver City Council approved an ordinance requiring electric scooters to be operated only in bike lanes or on streets where the speed limit is 30 mph or lower. If the speed limit is above 30 mph, scooters can be ridden on the sidewalk. Fort Collins city leaders want to avoid the problems experienced in Denver, and are proposing four regulations:
- The maximum operating speed would be 15 miles per hour. It has been concluded that any faster speed poses a danger to pedestrians.
- Parking will only be allowed in approved areas.
- Riders will be prohibited from riding throughout Old Town Fort Collins and Colorado State University. Instead, there will be designated areas in which riders will have to dismount and walk the scooters.
- While wearing a helmet is strongly suggested, helmets are not required, even for riders under 18 years of age.
Bird and Lime, e-scooter companies, have expressed interest in working with Fort Collins and CSU to expand their reach into the market. No agreements have been made, but the city and the university have made it known that they would like to join forces with scooter companies that will implement outreach programs to educate riders on safe use.
A Growing Number of E-Scooter Injuries
A maximum speed of 15 miles per hour may not seem dangerous, but the number of electric scooter crashes has been steadily rising in Denver and around the country. The Swedish Medical Center reported it treats about 20 patients per week, most of whom have suffered head injuries, followed by “road rash” or serious abrasions, and broken bones. It is not uncommon for riders to sustain multiple injuries.
In a recent study conducted by the Austin Public Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), released in May 2019, it was found that across the USA, 1 in 5,000 rides on an electric scooter resulted in injury, 48% of which were head injuries; 55% were sustained on the street, 33% on the sidewalk.
Filing a Claim After an E-Scooter Injury in Fort Collins
If you were riding an e-scooter and were struck by a vehicle, you may file a personal injury claim to recover compensation from the driver’s auto insurance company. The assistance of a skilled Fort Collins personal injury lawyer will help with this process. The amount of compensation you ask for will reflect the level of your injuries, the need for long-term medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering, based on the facts in your case. If you or a loved one has been injured while riding an e-scooter in Fort Collins, we urge you to contact the Tenge Law Firm, LLC. Our approach is to provide our clients with full support, including arranging with medical providers to treat your injuries, resolving health insurance disputes or delays, and the most critical point: filing that claim against the party responsible for the accident.
Reach out to the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, for a free case evaluation. If we take your case, we will go the distance, and will seek compensation for lost wages, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, the costs associated with medical treatment, and more. Our firm was founded in 1992, and to date, we have recovered tens of millions of dollars for our clients. We work on a contingency fee basis and charge no fees unless we win. Call (970) 212-4777 to schedule your appointment today.