Atlanta’s new scooter law could mean high fines, safety standards for companies

08/20/2019 — Atlanta, Georgia — Electric scooters sit piled up on the sidewalk near Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Tuesday, August 20, 2019. (Alyssa Pointer/

Scooters companies will face steeper fines and stricter requirements under new proposed rules presented Wednesday at Atlanta’s transportation committee meeting.

Changes riders might notice if the new rules are adopted are white front lights and red rear reflectors or red lights on scooters as a safety precaution. Operators would be required to put language on the scooters themselves notifying riders they can’t use them on the sidewalks, an ongoing concern of residents and city officials.

Under the proposed law, scooter companies could be subject to an administrative fine or a citation as high as $1,000 a day if they violate the city’s scooter laws. Companies will have 14 days to repeal the fine with the city’s municipal court. The amount of the administrative fine will be set by the city’s Department of Transportation commissioner.

The updated scooter legislation will be taken up for a vote at the transportation committee’s Feb. 26 meeting. If approved, it will go to the full City Council in March.

The proposed legislation stipulates scooter companies with a revoked permit cannot reapply to operate in the city until they settle any outstanding debt owed to the city. Lime scooters left the city last month 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.

RELATED: Lime scooters leaving Atlanta, cites 'significant' scooter impound fees

The city did not immediately respond to a question on the status of Lime and other scooter companies’ impound fee payments.

If approved by the full council, the city’s transportation department will have the ability to revoke scooter operating permits.

Companies will also be 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.

Fines for violations might be based on the type of violation. Right now, the city charges a $75 impound fee for improperly parked scooters and a $25 charge for each additional day the devices remain impounded. The most frequent violations are improperly parked scooters that block sidewalks and doorways.

Under the updated legislation, anything concerning scooters would be decided by the city’s newly formed transportation department. City Council approved the new department, dubbed ATLDOT, in May.

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