Austin Transportation Department drafts plan to regulate scooters

The electric scooters zipping up and down the streets of downtown are hard to miss.

In fact, many visitors got their thrills behind the two wheels during South by Southwest. A mountain of confiscated scooters were pictured piled up on 6th Street.

To prevent any future scooter skyscrapers, the city has drafted a plan to regulate scooters.

The Austin Transportation Department has revised a current city ordinance that will give the Austin Police Department the power to ticket any riders disobeying current traffic laws after an initial warning. It's an idea residents said they can get behind.

"I think it's a good idea I mean if you're not listening or abiding by the laws then you should pay the consequences same as driving a car if you break the law, speed, you have to pay the consequences,” said Brian Ray.

The department is also proposing marked pavement zones for all shared mobility devices. The city is looking at designating areas where riders can and cannot ride on busy sidewalks. The new ordinance would require riders under the age of 18 to wear a helmet to help promote overall safety.

Austin currently has more than 15,000 scooters from ten different vendors. In the next coming months, the city may limit the amount of scooters with a potential franchise agreement. 

The proposed ordinance will be put to a vote in City Council on March 28th.