Complaints continue about motorized scooter rentals as enforcement seems unlikely

Local News

Complaints are continuing to come in about motorized scooter rentals in Nashville. 

Bird Scooters first came to Nashville over the summer but were quickly banned by Metro Council. After negotiations, council passed a new ordinance so scooters could come back.

The scooters will stay as part of a year-long pilot program. However, there are people who are already fed up.

Michel Claire Bayer works downtown and says this week alone, she’s narrowly avoided two crashes with motorized scooters. 

She drafted a letter to send to Metro Council, which includes photos she’s taken showing bad behavior by riders.

Some are riding on the sidewalks, which you’re not allowed to do in business districts; some riders appear to be under 18, which is the required age; others don’t obey traffic laws. 

“I understand for the people who are riding them that it’s a lot of fun but for everybody else, I think it’s pretty horrible we have to put up with them,” said Bayer. “It’s only a matter of time, in my mind, before somebody gets killed and that’s my main concern in addressing the council.”

Right now, it’s unlikely someone who witnesses a rider breaking the law will report it. If they do, it’s unlikely a police officer will respond. 

“We know pretty well at this point from police that this is not going to be one of their enforcement priorities,” said District 19 Councilman Freddie O’Connell. “If we’re trying to issue one of those $25 citations allowed as a penalty to someone being reckless very likely not going to happen.”

O’Connell says the issue is polarizing. However, it doesn’t center around the scooters themselves, but more around the people riding them. 

“We don’t have anything in place right now to get better behaviors from the riding community and I think that’s the key here,” he said.

Metro Council will get an update on the number of complaints in a few weeks. You can file your complaint against a scooter by dialing 311.

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