D.C. councilmember proposes legislation to create guidelines for electric scooters

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A D.C. Councilmember proposed a bill Tuesday that would create new guidelines for electric scooter companies operating in the District, according to DCist.

Mary Cheh, a law school professor who represents Ward 3 on the D.C. Council, said the bill would require scooter operators to ensure that at least 10 percent of each company’s scooters are available in each ward by 6 a.m. daily, DCist reported.

“It’s an equity matter,” Cheh told DCist. “People from any quadrant, any ward, should have the same opportunity as others to use the scooters.”

The legislation would also ban scooter rides between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., hours during which scooters are difficult to spot, DCist reported. Cheh said curbing operating hours will deter users from riding while inebriated, according to DCist.

The bill would also require scooter companies to give the District Department of Transportation access to the scooter companies’ crash data, DCist reported.

Last month, Cheh proposed changes to the District’s 2020 budget to increase the maximum scooter speed from the current 10 miles per hour maximum to 15 miles per hour. Under her newest bill, scooter speed limits would increase to 15 miles per hour on roads, but decrease to 6 miles per hour on sidewalks, according to DCist.

Cheh’s bill would also require scooter operators to set up a 24-hour complaint hotline to field calls about scooters placed in inconvenient locations, like sidewalks, WUSA9 reported. Companies would be required to move the scooters within three hours of a complaint, according to WUSA9.

“I want to be able to accommodate it and have people use it, but on the other hand it is new and there’s not yet a full culture of usage and safety,” Cheh told WUSA9.

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