The Key Biscayne Village Council is once again considering outlawing e-bikes and e-scooters due to recent accidents and close calls. The issue was discussed at a council meeting on October 10.
Councilman Brett Moss expressed his support for a ban. Moss argued that Key Biscayne should automatically ban e-bikes and e-scooters once the annual number of citations reaches 100.
Police Chief Frank Sousa emphasized the police department’s strict enforcement of $75 citations for unsafe e-bike and scooter riders, particularly in the Village Green and school areas. Key Biscayne Police has also resumed “Scoot Safe” seminars in an effort to involve more parents in promoting safety.
Sousa believes that e-bike and e-scooter operators are to blame for the majority of accidents involving micromobility devices.
Council member Allison McCormick sought to better understand the root causes of the problem. McCormick raised concerns about the lack of training for bike riders. Cyclists’ failure to stop at stop signs, unsafe passing of cars, and inadequate knowledge of hand signals are all signs of a lack of training.
McCormick also speculated that parents may not be aware that their children are riding bikes in pairs after school.
Councilman Ed London highlighted that one of the reasons why parents aren’t concerned about receiving $75 tickets is because they have insurance. This insurance covers liability in case their child causes harm or damages property.
London added that a significant difference could be made if government insurance regulators modified their policies to not offer protection to those riding e-bikes.
According to The Islander News, Key Biscayne councillors have lobbied the Florida state legislature to amend municipal regulations concerning e-bikes and e-scooters. However, the state legislature has yet to take any action.
E-bike and e-scooter supporters argue that the Council’s push for a ban is unreasonable. They point out that the vast majority of e-bike and e-scooter accidents also involve cars. By scapegoating micromobility devices, politicians can avoid doing the challenging work of redesigning car-centric infrastructure.
Moreover, not all e-bikes are the same. Banning e-bikes with limited wattage would outlaw a climate-friendly mode of transportation while doing nothing for public safety.
Image Source: Key Biscayne Independent, https://shorturl.at/bEV19