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E-scooter safety
How to e-scoot safely and respectfully, Memphis
Posted on 08/06/2019
The City of Memphis is in the midst of an expansion to its Shared Mobility Program. Over the next couple months, residents should expect to see an increase in the number of e-scooters around town, two new e-scooter operators (Bolt and Spin), and a wider reach of e-scooters to more neighborhoods.

Bird ScootersE-scooters provide a new and fun way to travel around Memphis, access destinations, and depend less on a personal car. Enjoying these mobility services comes with an expectation of responsibility by the rider, or in some cases even requirements to follow applicable laws. Here are key reminders on how to e-scoot safely and respectfully in Memphis:

Ride on the street – in a bike lane if available – not the sidewalk. By the City’s regulations, e-scooters are to be ridden on the street. If using a bike lane, an e-scooter rider must offer the right-of-way to people on bicycles. Obey traffic lights and stop signs.

Don’t make others guess. Ride predictably. Darting around cars or people on foot, weaving in a lane, and stopping suddenly are actions that put an e-scooter rider and other users of the street at risk of injury. Ride in straight lines, break gradually, and remain aware of the people around you.

Yield to Pedestrians. By regulation, e-scooter riders must yield to people in crosswalks and on sidewalks. If in a crowded area, the e-scooter rider should dismount and walk the scooter through the crowd. People on foot may not hear the e-scooter approaching, or be able to react quickly enough before a collision, especially the elderly and small children.

Park Respectfully. Place the e-scooter with care at the outside edge of the sidewalk, near the curb. If bike racks are available, place the scooter at the rack. Never block a curb ramp, building entrance, or driveway. Leaving an e-scooter in the middle of a sidewalk or curb ramp is not merely an annoyance for other people to walk around, but also a safety hazard for people who use a wheelchair or have vision impairments. An improperly parked scooter could force those with limited mobility to turn around and find another route, or seriously injure those who trip over them.

Cross trolley tracks at a T, not a V. The trolley tracks downtown, as well as railroad tracks in general, pose a special safety consideration for e-scooter riders. The rails of the trolley tracks easily catch or slip up an e-scooter’s small wheels, leading to sudden crashes. E-scooter riders should always cross trolley or railroad tracks as close to a 90-degree angle as possible – a T, not a V. This significantly reduces the likelihood of the wheels slipping on or becoming caught in the rails.

Wear a helmet. The City encourages helmet use for e-scooter riders.
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