Across college campuses and in downtown areas nationwide, electric scooter rentals are cropping up. The concept is simple: scan a scooter with your phone, pay $1 to start it, then pay by the minute for the use of the scooter.
If a person is just zipping from one class to another or from a downtown job to an apartment, motorized e-scooters are an ideal way of getting around. However, there is a downside to these electric scooters. No helmets are provided by the rental companies and in many cases, they absolve themselves of responsibility for accidents and injuries that happen on their scooters.
The Tampa Florida Patch reports on the things a person should know before renting an e-scooter.
St. Petersburg, Florida is looking to Tampa’s pilot one-year e-scooter program to determine if the city should implement its own. Right now, Tampa is in the third month of the 12-month pilot program.
On May 24th, Tampa’s e-scooter program launched, providing about 900 e-scooters from four national scooter companies.
Advocates of e-scooters say that they will help tourists get around crowded downtown areas. They also believe that eventually, the availability of the scooters will relieve congestion.
Critics, however, say that e-scooters pose a health hazard. This is because the user agreements that riders agree to in their rental contract often absolve the companies renting the scooters from liability if the scooter rider is hurt or the rider crashes into a pedestrian, injuring them.
Some scooter riders have been injured when the scooters hit a pothole, throwing them from the vehicle. One man ended up with shattered bones in his leg, which required surgery to correct. He is now facing a $100,000 hospital bill which he is unsure health insurance will cover.