Electric scooters to return to Omaha with a clear set of rules

Published: Jun. 9, 2020 at 5:12 PM CDT
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Electric scooters will be allowed back in Omaha for a second trial run.

City council members voted on a clear set of rules for riders Tuesday afternoon.

While many are exctied to welcome back the scooters and new guidelines, they are worried aboutt the price you may have to pay for breaking the rules.

"So if you park your car illegally or sort of encroach in a crosswalk or whatever and you're in your car you're going to pay $16. But if you're on a scooter you're going to pay $100. And that's just inequitable," Executive Director of Bike Walk Nebraska, Julie Harris said.

Some of the guidelines say riders must obey all traffic laws, be at least 18 years or older, and cannot ride on the sidewalks. If a rider is caught violating these rules they could face a $100 fine.

That is something Harris said is unfair.

"Until Omaha has a really robust network of protected lanes for people to ride on you know as opposed to riding on the sidewalk it's really unfair to fine someone $100 for looking out for their own safety," She added.

Some City Council members said the condition of city streets also brings up another safety concern.

"Rocks, and potholes, and traffic. It's a dangerous place out there and to me it doesn't make sense that we not require the use of helmets," Councilmember Chris Jerram said during the meeting.

Helmets are not currently required by users.

Although many still have concerns about the use of scooters they are excited to bring back another transportation option to the city.

"Motorized scooters do give people another option besides a car to get around," Harris said.

The new guidelines will go into effect 15 days after they're signed by the Mayor. And exact date for when the scooters will show up in the city has not been announced.