E-scooter legislation worries bike advocates

From Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
By Doug McClellan

Photo by Tony Webster

Proposed bills across the U.S. would put bicycles and e-bikes on the same legal footing as the micromobility devices.

BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — Cycling advocates are casting a wary eye on bills pending in several statehouses that seek to legalize electric scooters. Their concerns aren’t with e-scooters as such, but with the scooter industry’s attempts to classify them as legally identical to bikes or electric bikes.

The scooter industry’s growth, and its much publicized disputes with local officials, has led to a glut of bills across the country. Legislatures in more than half the states are considering scooter-related bills this year. The bills that redefine scooters as bikes are the most troublesome for bike advocates.

“I really don’t want a scooter-related bill that defines scooters as bikes to get passed, and then have that bill reopened down the road because there are issues and safety implications with scooters,” said Morgan Lommele, director of state and local policy for PeopleForBikes and for the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association.

Bikes and electric scooters share many common interests, and both are seen as viable ways to reduce car traffic and make cities more livable and environmentally friendly. Some electric scooter-sharing companies also run bike-share systems and are members of the PeopleForBikes Coalition.

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