Resolution 2022-03

regarding safety hazards posed by electric scooters

WHEREAS, electric scooters are a recent form of personal transportation that has become increasingly popular in such Colorado cities as Boulder, Denver, and Colorado Springs; and

WHEREAS, the appeal of these scooters is that they may be retrieved from and left anywhere because they do not need to be parked at a docking station or rack; and

WHEREAS, as a result, users are leaving these scooters in locations that block curb cuts, obstruct sidewalks, block bus stops and stoops, and generally disrupt the flow of pedestrian traffic; and

WHEREAS, pedestrians are also endangered when these scooters are ridden on sidewalks and other pedestrian rights-of-way; and

WHEREAS, electric scooters are virtually silent when in use, making it impossible for those using nonvisual means of travel to detect them; and

WHEREAS, the public is encouraged to contact the various scooter companies directly to report scooter misuse, request that a scooter be moved, or report an injury or other concern by calling the company, visiting the website, or making a report using the app; and

WHEREAS, blind travelers cannot identify the scooter companies’ names, phone numbers, or websites because the information on the scooter is available only in print; and

WHEREAS, blind people are further denied the opportunity to make reports or issue complaints, since scooter websites and apps are more than likely not fully accessible to nonvisual access technology (e.g., screen reading programs); and

WHEREAS, there are few if any laws in Colorado regulating the use of electric scooters, and the laws which do exist are not consistent from one city to another: Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado in Convention assembled this 29th day of October, 2022, in the City of Greeley, Colorado, that this organization call upon municipal and state authorities in Colorado to work with the National Federation of the Blind Of Colorado to enact and implement strong measures governing the deployment and use of electric scooters, including strong penalties when electric scooters present an obstruction or hazard to pedestrians; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization urge state and local governments in Colorado to work with the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado and other stakeholders within the disability community to enact laws regulating scooter use to control parking, prohibit riding on sidewalks, and generally avoid disrupting the flow of or presenting a hazard to pedestrian traffic; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization demand that all dock-less electric scooter companies place their company name, scooter identification number, and contact information on each scooter in a format accessible and easily detectible by the blind and that these companies develop accessible websites and mobile applications so that blind pedestrians can easily communicate reports of misuse or injury.