Electric scooters in downtown Jacksonville raise safety concerns

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Electric scooters have been a big hit in downtown Jacksonville since they were first introduced as a one-year pilot program two weeks ago.

While they can get around in a playful way, they also lead to safety concerns, especially at night when some drivers do not obey the rules of the road.

During the night, you often see groups of drivers traveling in almost all directions on the streets and on the sidewalks. This increases the likelihood of a dangerous collision with a car.

It was just after 1:00 a.m. on Friday and the driver stepped on the brakes to avoid hitting a person riding a scooter on Bay Street. The driver then had the green light.

A moment later, a driver got off his scooter while performing tricks in the middle of the road.

A driver who spoke to News4Jax said they don’t drive into oncoming traffic and protect each other, but people who work and live downtown say it’s not always the case.

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“I’ve seen them make an illegal U-turn. I saw them crack in front of cars, ”said Ashley Edmondson.

Ken Jefferson, News4Jax’s crime and security expert, said what was seen in the video was a legitimate traffic safety issue.

“You have to follow the same rules as you would on a bike, motorcycle, or car,” said Jefferson.

This means that you don’t have to drive red lights or drive on one-way streets in the opposite direction of traffic. Recently, managers of the Carling Apartment building filed complaints with the city about traffic hazards and safety concerns related to the use of scooters in front of the building. City Councilor LeAnna Cumber was instrumental in bringing the electric scooters to River City to breathe new life into the downtown area. And she is aware of the concerns.

“I really want people to have fun, but of course we want everyone to be safe,” said Cumber.

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According to Cumber, both drivers and scooter riders are responsible for being vigilant on the road.

“And never assume that the driver will stop or see you. I think that will go a long way towards safety and so on, ”said Cumber.

Cumber said she was all about running awareness campaigns to teach the public how to properly and legally ride the scooters.

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