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Age verification coming for Omaha scooters

Posted at 10:19 PM, Sep 11, 2019

OMAHA, Neb. — By sometime Thursday, in order to verify your age, you'll likely have to scan your driver's license in order to ride either of the scooters that are being offered to rent all around Omaha, and that's not all the mayor wants to see done.

Four months into the pilot Mayor Jean Stothert says many Omahans need more education on the rules of the road, when riding a Lime or Spin scooter.

"If they would make it clear, say the top three or four rules that we have for use of those scooters, and perhaps a sticker on the scooter itself, I've seen that in other cities,” says Stothert.

With about two months of the scooter trial left, Stothert says she has no idea if the city will make them permanent.

It's reviewing loads of data like hospital visits, number of scooter-related citations before making a decision at the end of the year on whether to keep them.

Stothert says she's received a large number of safety complaints and injury reports.

"I can tell you I know people, I have friends that have broken bones as a result of scooters,” says Stothert.

She also says the city of Omaha's infrastructure doesn't lend itself to safe riding.

"We don't have a lot of dedicated bike lanes that scooters could be used on right now and I think that complicates this issue,” says Stothert.

But plenty of people like having the scooters. Since the program started there's been almost 150,000.

Some say it's a green alternative to go a short distance in areas like downtown and Blackstone.

"I see a lot of people, because I work downtown, a lot of people driving from the parking lot to building,” says Alexsei Schultz.

While some have complained the scooters are dumped all around town, one out-of-towner says Omaha does better than others he's seen.

"In some cities they're litter, here they're kept pretty neat, it's not as big of a nuisance as some other cities but I'm sure people are still bothered by them,” says Chris Poole.

Ultimately, if the city makes them permanent, Stothert says there will be clear rules set.

But still, that won't be able to control everybody.

Stothert says she was told by police today they've issued 119 tickets, but most of the time, have just given off warnings.