JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Electric scooters are fun and popular in downtown Jacksonville, but as News4Jax reported last week, they can also be dangerous if used the wrong way.
New tonight, we have a warning from The operations manager of one of the electric scooter vendors issued a warning to riders Friday.
“If we catch people who are a danger to other riders or not riding legally, we will go in and give people warnings and we also kick people off our platform as well,” said SPIN operations manager Edward Sun.
Three weeks ago, hundreds of electric scooters were brought to Jacksonville as part of a one-year pilot program to bring new life into downtown.
While many people have enjoyed riding the scooters, there have been a lot of complaints from people who live and work downtown who say some riders are creating dangerous situations on the roadway.
That safety event came after police arrested a scooter rider after he ran a red light, refused to be pulled over and then led an officer on a chase. Another rider was hit by a car but was not injured.
Last week, News4Jax watched a scooter rider traveling in the wrong direction and almost get hit by a car.
Sun said the rules that apply to bicyclists are the same for people who ride scooters.
“People don’t associate scooters with bikes necessarily, but when they are on the road, it’s just like another mobility vehicle so we expect our riders to abide by the local rules,” Sun said.
The rules include obeying traffic lights, not weaving in and out of traffic and not traveling in the wrong direction on one-way streets into oncoming traffic.
Ebony Lake also attended the safety event. She was one of many people who received a free safety helmet after watching a video about safe scooter riding and then completed an online test.
“Something like this is very much needed. We thank SPIN for coming out and actually giving out helmets for free if you take that test,” Lake said.
Sun said his company will partner with JSO to provide riders with more education about road rules and make sure those rules are enforced to reduce the chances of injury.
Sun said his company holds safety events every month in just about every city in the U.S. and abroad where they provide electric scooters rides.
He says that while he wants customers to have fun, his main concern is their safety.