Detroit councilwoman proposes new regulations for e-scooter companies

Posted at 7:05 AM, Aug 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-31 07:05:41-04

(WXYZ) — Electric scooters in metro Detroit are largely unregulated, meaning companies can just come in and set up shop without a contract.

City officials also have very few ways to enforce reckless scooter use, but that could change under a proposed ordinance by one Detroit City Council Member.

"It's annoying when you're walking and there's like 50 scooters in the way. it's kind of like playing a game like travel through all the scooters on the sidewalk," one person said.

The e-scooters first came to the city in 2018. Back then, there were only two companies. Now, that number has grown to six, and there are thousands of scooters to ride.

Councilwoman Angela Calloway wants to change that by regulating scooter companies operating in Detroit city limits.

"I want to make sure these companies are regulated and are licensed to do business in our city. I've been on the council for eight months and I have not seen an e-Scooter contract yet," Calloway said.

She also said regulating the scooters would stop them from being left in the middle of sidewalks and creating problems for those who do have a disability. Those who walk around Downtown Detroit agree.

"Sounds like a good idea." Sounds like a good idea. I don't know how you're going to enforce it because the riders are going to do what they do," one person said.

Calloway wants to make sure these companies are following the rules and thinks it's time for the city to create better rules and regulations for the scooter companies.

The first regulations were made in July 2018 and the last time they were revised was in October 2018.

"If you have someone whose vision is impaired what about them? And then if they trip over them and sustain an injury who is going to be liable? Is it going to be the city of Detroit or is it going to be the e-scooter company?" Calloway said. "We have to control these businesses doing business in our city and right now there are no controls in place. There's nothing requiring them to get licensed or even to pay a license fee. So if you're going to do business in the city and are a business you have fees to pay. That's my goal. I am not trying to penalize anyone."

While scooters aren't regulated in Detroit, the State of Michigan does have laws on the books about e-scooters and where to park them. You can park them on the sidewalk as long as it does not impede pedestrian traffic, and scooter riders must follow traffic laws when riding on the street.