BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The City of Bloomington is directing all scooter companies to limit the hours in which scooters will be operational. This directive comes only weeks after an Indiana University student was struck and killed by an accused drunk driver in the overnight hours.
Beginning Thursday at 11 p.m., scooters in Bloomington will not be available between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. daily through the winter months. The Bloomington Mayor’s Office said these hours may be adjusted, however, based on outcomes.
In addition to the death of 20-year-old Nathaniel Stratton, the mayor’s office attributed this decision to “mounting late-night injuries related to scooter use.”
Stratton was struck and killed on Sept. 18, shortly before 2 a.m., at the intersection of N. Walnut and E. 12th Street while riding an electric scooter. Madelyn Howard, 22, of Crown Point is accused of striking Stratton after veering into the bike lane in her 2021 Mercedes-Benz.
Howard had reportedly been drinking at the bar prior to striking Stratton and drove for several blocks while the scooter was wedged underneath her car, kicking up sparks as some pedestrians chased after her.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recently reported that e-scooter deaths and injuries are on the rise, alongside e-bikes and hoverboards.
According to the CPSC, from 2017 to 2021 injuries have spiked 127% in relation to the use of these micromobility devices. In that timeframe, 129 deaths have been accounted for relating to the use of e-scooters, e-bikes and hoverboards. E-scooters, however, had the highest percentage of overall deaths with 68.
The CPSC report stated that consumer-owned e-scooters accounted for 56% of most ER visits while rental e-scooters were close behind at 44%.
According to the report, the top hazard for e-scooter and e-bike riders were incidents with motor vehicles and user-control issues, followed by fires.
The Bloomington Mayor’s Office offered the following guidelines for e-scooter riders to follow:
- Always wear a helmet
- Never ride under the influence
- Never ride with more than one person on the scooter
- Yield to pedestrians
- Use caution and follow local safety and traffic laws
- Travel in bike lanes or roads unless otherwise directed
- Do not text and ride
- Do not block sidewalks, access ramps, bus stops, or traffic
- Be mindful of surface conditions (uneven surfaces, wet or slippery conditions, debris)