OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Scooters are a newer addition to Omaha, but all around downtown right now, scooters are getting people from hotels to the stadium, to dinner, and back.
Lt. John Wells with the Omaha Police Traffic Unit says they’ve only seen a few injuries in the past few weeks.
“Early on there was somebody that broke an ankle during the first couple days of the Swim Trials," Wells said. "Somebody else got going a little too fast and lost control and hit the side of the building.”
They say the geofencing in the area is helping to keep riders away from high-traffic areas, making it so the scooters have to be manually pushed when in these zones.
As riders enjoy the new mode of transportation, it’s important to remember the rules of the road.
Scooters and bikes must stay off the sidewalks, stick to the right lane and obey all the traffic laws that apply to automobiles.
The scooters cannot be taken anywhere that the speed limit exceeds 35 mph.
Julie Harris with Bike Walk Nebraska agrees riders should stick to the road, but would like to make it safer to do so.
“If we’re going to ask bikes and scooters to be on the street, we need to create more infrastructure that will be them feel safer," Harris said, adding that more protected lanes like the one being created on Harney Street would be a good step forward.
Some other rules to keep in mind on the scooters is that riders must be 18 and older and only one rider is allowed per scooter.
Drinking and riding is also prohibited, so it’s best to skip the ride home from the bar.
“You can be subject to alcohol testing," Wells said. "And if you fail to do that alcohol testing that’s a separate penalty as well.”
Parking scooters in areas that impede traffic, pedestrian travel, parking, in bus stops, in front of benches and in front of building exits could also result in a $100 fine.
While riders follow their rules, Harris says drivers should also be extra cautious during this time.
“People walking who don’t know where they’re going, people on scooters who have never ridden one before, people with a stroller and somebody has to go out around them, there’s a lot of people out here and we all to adjust and coexist together," Harris said.