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Councilman Mo Seifeldein Calls on Scooter Suspension

Electric scooters on North Washington Street. (Photo by James Cullum)

Alexandria, VA – Alexandria City Councilor Mo Seifeldein has had enough of the electric scooters, and has called for their suspension in the city’s dockless mobility program. There have been 11 e-scooter-related deaths nationwide, and Seifeldein said that the city should take measures to regulate the scooter program before an incident occurs.

“We want to avoid a 12th death from ever occurring in Alexandria, because that is not something I can live with,” Seifeldein told The Zebra. “My main concern is the safety and equity and even if we do have a memorandum of understanding, the logistics of it will be a nightmare for the police, for the courts. It’s not realistic to take away resources from the police to monitor scooter riders.”

City Council will look at the scooter pilot program in September. Seifeldein is currently looking for support from his colleagues to have the program suspended before September meeting, since Council will soon go on its summer break.

ICYMI: Update: Is the City’s Dockless Mobility Program a Godsend? Scourge? Both?

The city issued $5,000 individual permits to Lime, LyftJump (which operates e-bikes)BirdBoltSkipand Spin to operate within the city, limiting the number of scooters from each company in the city to 200 e-scooters or e-bikes apiece. Users download the app, type in their credit or debit information, scan the bike with their phone and they’re off! Many companies (with the exception of Lyft and Bolt) require a driver’s license in order to ride.

Seifeldein said that average annual income for riders is $50,000, and that such a population is best represented in the city’s West End, where scooters are largely absent. Additionally, riders are not wearing helmets and are scooting around on sidewalks without public enforcement.

“This has resulted in the piling up of scooters on sidewalks which demonstrates an even greater risk and nuisance to pedestrians,” Seifeldein said. “Riders are also not wearing proper headgear when utilizing dockless scooter services.”

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  1. The preceding article (tagged in this one) incorrectly stars that scooters should be parked on sidewalks. That is incorrect according the city page. I frequently se them parked in the middle of the sidewalk, which is a hazard to the elderly and less mobile pedestrians. The real problem is that the companies don’t seem to have any ability (or desire) to discipline their users. The city should require that they have policies (that are actually enforced) to link back the improper users and suspend their accounts. The alternative is that the permit cost is set high enough to pay a focused security force. Currently the city has sone neither. Until then, the program should be abolished.

  2. Yes, PLEASE end the scootermania!!! It’s too dangerous; those who use them do not always follow the rules which is too easy to do! Thank you so much!

  3. Saying there have been 11 deaths nation wide does not seem like a strong argument. By comparison how many car related deaths, or motorcycle deaths or bike deaths have been recorded in the same time period? If there needs to be better regulations on how the riders or the companies operate the scooters then the city should implement them. I personally think the more people that use scooters instead of cars would make it better for everyone.

  4. There is currently no uniform way to track scooter injuries or deaths. The medical records/hospital coding systems do not have a code for scooter related injuries or death. These codes are used to determine what treatments will be reimbursed by insurance companies. Hospitals, ERs, and emergency care centers are coding injuries as falls, collisions, general injuries, and even bicycle injuries. Until there are consistent reporting requirements, we will never know the extent of the harm being done. There is no specific code for a visually impaired person falling over an illegally parked scooter.

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