DENVER (CBS4)– The electric scooter rage as grabbed the attention of Colorado lawmakers. They want a state standard for where you can ride e-scooters.
“I just think this is an example of regulation hasn’t caught up with innovation and this is one serious head injury away from being a really, really big deal,” said Nate Monley.
Monley and his wife Katie are among those who have joined the scooter craze, but they say sidewalks are no place for e-scooters.
“I think it’s really dangerous to ride these that fast on the sidewalk where everyone is walking,” said Katie.
Rep. Alex Valdez agrees, “The sidewalk is for pedestrians and all motorized vehicles are allowed to go on the street.”
Valdez, a Democrat representing Denver, has introduced a bill that would re-categorize scooters statewide from toy vehicles confined to sidewalks to motorized vehicles confined to streets, subject to the same rules as electric bikes.
“They’re no emissions. They’re small and compact and quiet. It’s time to look at them as a serious part of our transportation mix.”
E-scooters are a growing part of the mix with more than 1,500 scooters in Denver alone. Denver already passed an ordinance regulating e-scooters as motorized vehicles that, in most cases, belong on the road. But the law came only after complaints and injuries.
Valdez’s bill is aimed at keeping other cities from being caught off guard by the e-scooter frenzy.
“As we see more people moving to Colorado, as it gets more and more congested, people are going to try and find other ways to get to work and get to other things they want to do. And we need to enable them to do that safely and we think this bill really does take a step in the right direction,” said Valdez.
Denver is the only city with e-scooters right now but companies are looking to expand to Fort Collins and Lakewood. The bill allows local governments to set additional regulations that may be more restrictive than the state law. It will be heard in the House Transportation and Local Government Committee at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. So far, there does not appear to be any opposition.