Nashville's Mayoral Contenders Also Love To Hate Dockless Scooters | Nashville Public Radio

Nashville's Mayoral Contenders Also Love To Hate Dockless Scooters

May 22, 2019

Nashville's first mayoral forum of the 2019 election found unanimity on the issue of dockless scooters and their increasingly apparently safety hazards.

The Walk Bike Nashville event came less than a week after a 26-year-old man was struck by an SUV downtown. He died from those injuries Sunday morning.

"Anytime we have that sense of loss in our community as a result of something we have put out there without necessarily thinking it all the way through, we have to go back and readdress this system," Mayor David Briley said, mentioning that he met with the family, who has called for a ban on scooters.

The Nashville Fire Department has made 74 scooter-related injury transports in the first four months of 2019, with more than half of them in April.

The candidates for Nashville mayor agree that rules governing dockless scooters need to be revisited. Their views were shared as part of a forum organized by Walk Bike Nashville on Wednesday.
Credit Blake Farmer / WPLN

Briley called scooters a transportation experiment.

"The experiment has failed," he says. "We have got to go back and look at it again and figure out how we can improve upon the presence of scooters in our town."

More: Scooter Accidents Have Nashville's Trauma Center Fretting About Head Injuries

The local ordinance governing scooter companies has already been revised once and will have to be revisited by April 2020, when the provisions sunset.

"Every person in Nashville needs to be involved in reshaping the scooter law and the use  — zones to put them in, helmets, after dark usage of scooters," at-large Councilman John Cooper said. "All these are common sense changes that I look forward to the city making."

Carol Swain, a former law professor at Vanderbilt University, confessed that she narrowly avoided hitting a scooter traveling at night on Charlotte Ave. "It doesn't seem to be regulated in a way that keeps people safe, and that's a problem," she said.

State Rep. John Ray Clemmons said the city needs to be more thoughtful about legislating scooters, especially considering who uses them most. "They're simply becoming a toy for tourists," he said.

"I've tried to like scooters, I just can't."