Local leaders say electric scooters will stay in Omaha, for now

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) For local leaders who will ultimately decide whether electric scooters should stay on the streets of Omaha, an accident involving a 9-year-old boy is adding more weight to the decision.

From the moment the scooters arrived on the streets in May they’ve spurred debate. Some people believing they’re a useful mode of transportation, others insisting they’re too dangerous.

“I’ve seen some close calls, I’ve had a couple of close calls,” said Dezmend Drumgould, who often rides a scooter to work. But he thinks some things need to change.

“I think they need to be regulated just a little bit more.”

The crash between a 9-year-old boy and a city bus Tuesday night is an example of the dangers of the scooters.

“When you start a pilot program you probably don’t anticipate that’s one of the scenarios that might occur,” said Councilman Brinker Harding.

He, along with other council members 6 News spoke with, believe it’s important to finish the six-month trial period with the scooters.

“At the conclusion of the pilot program take all the information, take all the data and see there’s a way to craft a program that would be safe for all parties involved.”

You’re supposed to be at least 18-years-old, to ride the scooters, but all it takes is access to a smartphone with the scooter app on it and anyone can take a ride.

For people like Lisa Hartman, the recent crash is a cause for pause.

“It makes me wonder about the access that younger people have to it. And that people aren’t always going to be around to watch them adult wise.”