DALLAS — Dallas city council members this week passed a new ordinance amending the city code to allow for scooters once more in the city.
The new ordinance passed provides safety, parking and speed limit requirements for motor-assisted scooters and electric bicycles, along with a safety clause and a severability clause should the city want to back out of providing public scooters again.
New regulations include requiring electric scooters and bicycles to be equipped with a lamp on the front and a red reflector on the rear. The city's traffic engineering department will also be designating zones where the vehicles are prohibited or "slow ride zones" where their speed would have to be significantly reduced.
Penalties included in the ordinance include forbidding children from operating electric scooters on city sidewalks or letting children ride the scooters in public parks or plaza without wearing helmets.
The ordinance also requires electric scooters to be parked standing upright on concrete or on spaces designated by the city for parking scooters. It also forbids riders from parking their scooters near intersections, on roadways, sidewalks, private property or public parks.
Anyone found violating a provision of the ordinance could be fined up to $200, it reads.
When scooters were operational in Dallas, videos went viral showing people riding them in precarious places – like on I-35E during rush hour traffic or on sidewalks, which was not allowed, and slamming into doors.
Pedestrians suffered injuries as did hundreds of riders.
Some were even killed.
When the City told scooter companies to end operations, the pause was supposed to be temporary.
Now, council members say they hope to have scooters back on city streets by the end of the year or early next year.