Gina Cook

DC Bill Would Ban Scooter Use During Overnight Hours

The proposal also includes speed restrictions

Members of the D.C. Council introduced a bill Tuesday that would ban people from riding electric scooters in the city from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., create speed restrictions and require scooter companies to follow more rules.

Council member Mary M. Cheh along with council members Charles Allen, Brianne Nadeau and Jack Evans introduced the “Electric Mobility Device Amendment Act of 2019.”

The proposal includes the following:

  • Requiring operators to maintain a 24-hour toll-free phone number for members of the public to report illegally parked scooters
  • Mandating that operators move illegally parked scooters within three hours of receiving a complaint
  • Banning scooter use between the hours of 10:00pm and 4:00am
  • Requiring operators to pay a bond to the District that will be used to pay for any damage their devices cause to public property
  • Requiring operators to maintain at least 10% of its fleet in each Ward by 6:00 am
  • Increasing the scooter speed limit to 15 miles per hour on the street or bike line and reducing the speed limit to 6 miles per hour while operating on the sidewalk
  • Setting the electric bicycle speed limit to 20 miles per hour on the street;
  • Requiring operators to release fleet, trip, and complaint data to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT)
  • Giving the DDDOT Director the ability to suspend permits of operators who are not abiding by the law and provide the agency with the authority to fine operators who have been the subject of a disproportionate amount of complaints
  • Requiring DDOT to construct signage and/or pavement markings to identify the Central Business District
  • Establishes a parking pilot to create electric scooter exclusive parking locations.

"We have established bike culture in the District, but, because this technology is relatively new, we don’t have a safe electric scooter culture—resulting in many users neglecting to follow important safety rules," Cheh said in a statement.

"Many scooter users weave in and out of pedestrians on the sidewalk at high speeds, do not follow important safety rules, ride while inebriated, and routinely discard scooters that block pedestrian walkways, private driveways, and handicap accessible ramps."

Cheh said the bill "is a broad and comprehensive approach to establishing common sense electric scooter and electric bike rules that will help keep our streets and sidewalks safe while also enabling these services to continue to operate in the District.”

Cheh said the council will formally propose the bill in the fall.

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