Indiana lawmaker wants scooter companies held responsible for property damage

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- New legislation has been proposed to provide better protections for Hoosiers who have their property damaged by scooters.

State Rep. Cherrish Pryor (D-Indianapolis) filed House Bill 1036, which would require the owners of scooter companies operating in Indiana to assume all liability for damages caused by the devices.

It would also force the companies to have a toll-free number to respond to public concerns "in a timely fashion." The companies would be required to keep liability insurance up to date to pay for damages.

“From the start, we have been behind the ball in addressing this new mode of transportation that has been introduced on the streets of Indiana,” Pryor said. “Already we have seen numerous accidents where people have been hurt and property has been damaged by scooters. These are safety issues that need to be addressed and the companies held fully accountable."

This comes just a few weeks after Bird said no to paying for the full repairs to a man's car after it got damaged by one of their scooters. The company said they would pay a fourth of the $461 total. Pryor said she saw the story, and it convinced her to push for the legislation.

“I was a little disappointed," said Matt Kawiecki who owns the car, "$300 bucks to them is chump change, they’re a $2 billion company”

“If the companies that provide these devices are to be good citizens, then they must take responsibility in helping to solve the problems that are being caused by them,” Pryor said. “I am not seeking to ban these devices, but to ensure there is some accountability, just as we have for other modes of transportation. My legislation ensures companies live up to that responsibility, or pay a price (violation of the provisions would be considered a Class A misdemeanor).”

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