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Senate passes scooter safety bill


Sen. Royce West

Texans could soon be banned from riding electric scooters along sidewalks in the cities where the divisive devices have recently popped up. The Texas Senate on Wednesday passed a bill that would add that prohibition and require that scooter users be at least 16 years old.

Citing safety concerns, some local governments have imposed restrictions on electric scooters, like creating restricted areas where they can’t be used — but Texas legislators wanted to impose minimum statewide guidelines.

“It’s like the wild, wild west out there with no rules,” said state Sen. Juan Hinojosa, D-McAllen.

Senate Bill 549, authored by Dallas Democrat state Sen. Royce West, would also prohibit more than two people from riding a scooter at once. Plus, the bill adds new guidelines for parking, so a rider can’t obstruct a road or sidewalk when they finish their ride.


State Sen. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, decried the prohibition from riding on sidewalks, saying that there are some situations where it’s safer for a rider be on the sidewalk than on the street. But Houston Republican state Sen. Joan Huffman, who says she’s been nearly hit three times by a scooter, said the sidewalk ban is key for safety.

“What about my personal liberty, my personal safety, when I’m walking on a sidewalk?” she said. “Not a side scooter-way, a side runway, or a side speedway — but a sidewalk.”

See here for the background. I don’t know what Sen. Hughes’ experience is, but we ban bicycles on sidewalks, too, and for the same reason. I’ll be rooting for this one in the House.

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One Comment

  1. Jason Hochman says:

    In Houston, you can ride a bicycle on the sidewalk, as long as it is not in a business district. But I don’t prefer to ride on a sidewalk, or the trails, which are mixed use, and on the trails there are pedestrians to dodge. Then along comes a middle age guy in lycra on his $8,000 carbon fiber tennis racket and he can’t be slowed down for anyone, and probably does the same thing in his BMW. Having said that it is very annoying to see these skateboards, giant one wheel things, scooters, and bicycles with a battery pack come zipping on by you. These batteries destroy the planet because they have chemicals in them.