Updated scooter legislation unanimously passes in Atlanta City Council

Atlanta City Council will debate new scooter regulations at Monday’s Council meeting.   Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: ccompton@ajc.com

Atlanta City Council will debate new scooter regulations at Monday’s Council meeting. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Scooter riders in Atlanta could soon be more visible under new scooter rules passed Monday by the Atlanta City Council. Effective immediately, electric scooters and other shareable devices will be required to have white front lights and red rear lights or reflectors.

Council members have been working to tighten regulations since several scooter rider deaths last year. Three riders died after being hit by vehicles in Atlanta between May and July, and a fourth rider was killed in nearby East Point in August.

The new regulations require scooter companies to put language on the devices notifying riders that they are not permitted on sidewalks, which has been an ongoing concern for pedestrians.

RELATED COVERAGE: New scooter law changes could mean more fines, fewer devices

In another change to scooter regulations, the city will roll out a new selection process no later than April that would decrease the number of scooter companies operating in Atlanta from four currently to two or three. The move should reduce the overall number of the devices being operated in the city and help reduce the clutter of scooters improperly parked on the sidewalks, which has resulted in many being impounded by the city.

Under the updated law, violations could result in fines of $1,000 per day. Companies would have 14 days to appeal the fines with the city’s municipal court.

Failure to comply with any of the new rules could result in a revoked permit. And scooter companies with a revoked permit cannot reapply to operate in the city until they settle all outstanding debts.

Department of Transportation Commissioner Josh Rowan told council members all but one scooter company settled their debt. He declined to say which operator.

Lime scooters left the city in January before paying at least $69,944 it owed in impound fees. At the time, city officials said they were working with Lime to settle the debt.

Companies are also required to provide an unspecified bond amount to cover any damage to public property caused by scooters, the removal and storage of illegally parked scooters, and any fines and fees that are more than 60 days outstanding.