The Enquirer's intern, Sam, drives the new public "Bird" scooters in the city center.
The Enquirer / Phil Didion, Cincinnati Enquirer

A few days after a Bird scooter collided with pedestrians on a crosswalk, a Cincinnati city council began to move That would make the scooter company responsible for such incidents.

The driver in this case took off – escaping the scene on the scooter and leaving a victim injured on the crosswalk.

Councilman David Mann thinks Bird should be on the hook. 19659008] "Because otherwise they have no real incentive to make sure this stuff does not happen," Mann said. "I told myself, it's only a matter of time before we have a serious injury."

Mann's move would require Bird to cover any damage caused by the abuse of the scooters. This includes driving on sidewalks, driving red lights or leaving scooters on the sides, a pedestrian tripping hazard.

"Bird is a profitable activity that has landed here for a purpose to earn money for someone," Mann wrote a statement on his application. "The profit is fine, but the damage done by a business must be accepted by the economy, not by an innocent public."

Bird has already agreed to protect the city from lawsuits concerning this abuse. Man wrote

That's good for the city, "he wrote. But what about innocent citizens being hurt by Bird customers? What about bird customers who are unknown because they flee from an accident site? What about bird customers who are known but do not have insurance or assets to cover the damage to their victims?

Mann plans to distribute the motion among other councilors this week to receive feedback He hopes he will be on the agenda next week then quickly taken over as a politician

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Bird launched in Cincinnati on July 26. The company will not share any data – passenger numbers or even the number of scooters available here – but a spokesman who declined her name in It was said earlier this week that the reception was good.

She issued a statement on Wednesday that did not specifically address Mann's suggestion but generally the commitment of the bottom reaffirmed for safety.

"We are constantly evolving our service and want to work with the city to provide comprehensive driver training and technology tools that promote the responsible and safe use of our sustainable transportation option," the statement says.

Nationally, some have warned of the possible threat that electric scooters pose to pedestrians. In June, Bloomberg published an article about personal injury lawyers looking for scooter cases. Meanwhile, the Midwestern cities are trying to respond to Bird's business model, which gives no warning before scooters are put on sidewalks


In Columbus, the city announced new rules for "shared mobility devices" this week from The Dispatch. The companies must get a $ 500 approval and pay $ 75 per device.

You also need to offer drivers a way to pay without credit card, share usage and safety data with the city and place some scooters in poorer neighborhoods In Indianapolis, the city announced plans to give scooter companies an upfront fee of $ 15,000 plus $ 1 per device per day.

Vogel electric scooters were parked in downtown Abilene on Friday, August 24, 2018. [Photo: Laura Gutschke / Reporter-News]

It's tricky terrain, said Steve Magas, a bicycle lawyer from Cincinnati . In general, a landlord is not on the hook for the wrong of a renter. Car rental companies, for example, do not "stick to something stupid every time someone hires a car."

The city could, however, set up rules that would put the liability back on Bird said Magas demand that Bird insures each scooter up to a certain amount, or that he bans the dockless feature and says that Bird must have stations ,

"It shows you the power of the city to regulate what happens within its borders," said Magas.

Cincinnati has launched a pilot program for Bird, but the officials were initially blinded by the company -Mails among city officials show they were, they can be as creative as they want. " I was not aware in advance that Bird came and was not sure how to respond.

Interim city manager Patrick Duhaney even asked if he had to temporarily ban the birds while the city decided what to do.

Bird's rules are clear: drive on the road and follow the traffic rules You must be at least 18 years old to slip.

But it's also clear that people disobey these rules, Mann said, and the company seems to shake that off. Mann said he saw people driving on the sidewalks daily, blowing through red traffic lights and driving in one-way streets in the wrong direction.

He is also not sure if the 18-up policy is properly enforced.

I'm attending him as a lawyer, "he said. "How can Bird be required to take on a serious responsibility that leads them to take serious steps? I'm only for having fun, but let's understand that the sidewalks are a common space."

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