First the dockless rental bikes appeared around the city of Charlotte, now we are seeing several electric scooters about the Queen City. You pay with an app on your smart phone, they cost a dollar to unlock, plus a per minute charge. When you’re done you park them at your destination and continue with your day.
These scooters are part of an effort to expand transportation options. Charlotte will monitor the program and make a decision in October. For now the city is treating scooters like bicycles, you can ride on roads or bike lanes.
The question still begs to be answered, who is responsible? If and when a citizen is ultimately injured, who will be at fault? The driver, the city, the sponsoring company of the scooters, the person on the scooter?
While it remains uncertain at this time here are some tips to stay safe:
Always remain aware of your surroundings.
Pay attention to the roads, watch for pot holes.
Don’t wear headphones!
Listen to what is happening with the traffic around you.
When possible wear a helmet.
Bird offers helmets to riders who ask for one through the app and at giveaway events.
Use bike lanes when available or the street to avoid ridding on the sidewalks.
When finished park the scooter, out of the public way, near bike racks.