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Deaths Prompt Atlanta to Order Scooters Off Streets at Night

Other cities are considering regulations
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 8, 2019 7:00 PM CDT
A man rides a electric scooter Thursday in Atlanta, which is prohibiting their use during nighttime hours.   (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

(Newser) – Atlanta is banning electric scooters in the nighttime hours during what's been a deadly summer for riders. Cities across the nation are struggling to regulate the companies renting the devices and keep riders safe, the AP reports. In Atlanta, three riders have died since May in crashes that involved a public bus, an SUV and a car. Police in the suburb of East Point say a fourth rider was killed there Tuesday in a collision involving his scooter and a truck. "Sadly, we have seen a pattern in the recent and tragic fatalities involving scooters — they all occurred after sunset," Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in a statement Thursday. The ban on electric scooters and electric bikes, from 9pm until 4am daily, was announced Thursday and takes effect Friday.

"We want this to be temporary," said Tim Keane, Atlanta's commissioner of city planning. Officials have asked e-scooter vendors to disable the devices during the off-hours. The companies are cooperating, Keane said. Traffic safety data showing the dangers of riding during late-night hours is "compelling," California-based Bird said in a statement Thursday. It had more than 1,200 devices operating in Atlanta last month, city records show. Late-night and early-morning travel, especially between midnight and 5 a.m., is "many times more dangerous due to impaired road users, fatigue and poor visibility," Bird said. Dallas and Nashville have considered regulation, partly over safety concerns. Chicago has a rule similar to Atlanta's. The skyrocking popularity of scooters has European cities considering such measures, per the BBC. Paris alone has 15,000 scooters for rent.

(Read more scooters stories.)

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