Community Responds to Florida Law Categorizing E-Scooters the Same as Bicycles
FLORIDA – An online news article posted at tampabay.com provides some response from the community to a recent law passed in Florida that categorizes electric bicycles and electric scooters the same way it does regular bicycles. Some people in Florida think this could pose a danger to pedestrians.*
State law in Florida says that electric bikes are the same as regular bikes in terms of regulation, and a law passed in June now includes e-scooters in that category, as well. The law says that local governments can choose to regulate scooters differently, and several cities have already moved to do so.
Some members of the community think that scooters take things a little far and could place pedestrians at risk of injury. The Chairman of the Pinellas County Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Brian Smith, says that e-scooters are different from bicycles and electric bicycles because they are not powered by the user and cannot easily maneuver around people on biking and walking trails.
“A scooter is not prepared to stop or do evasive action to avoid an accident like a bike or a pedestrian can,” Smith said.
Smith added that many of the trails in the area, like the Pinellas Trail, were simply not designed for scooters. They are made for walking and biking and are not designed to handle new types of traffic like scooters.
Other community members think the distinction lies in the effort it takes to walk or ride a bicycle versus a scooter. Trails and recreational paths in the state are meant for people who want to exercise outdoors, they say, and zipping around on a scooter is not exercise.
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