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Indiana lawmaker wants scooter companies to carry liability insurance

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A state lawmaker wants more regulations for electric-scooter companies, rules meant to protect you.

Democrat state Rep. Cherrish Pryor said she doesn’t want to ban these devices from the state but just wants to make sure there’s some accountability.

By now, you’ve see people scoot down the sidewalks and streets.

Pryor wants the owners of electric scooter companies working in Indiana to take on all liability for any damages the scooter cause. 

“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 in a previous statement. “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.”

Pryor’s proposal would require scooter companies to carry liability insurance to pay for those damages.

Sabrina Rhodes of Indianapolis said Wednesday, “No! I think it should be the person who’s riding its responsibility. I don’t think it’s the scooter company’s responsibility.”

News 8 talked to one scooter rider who believed the proposal might lead scooter companies to pass that extra cost to you.

Pryor argued that too many people have been injured and too much property damaged by the scooters. She argued that safety is at stake and accountability is needed.

“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 in a previous statement. “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.”

Under her proposed law, violation of the provisions would be considered a Class A misdemeanor. 

Phil Hexamer of Indianapolis said Wednesday  “I think that’s a good idea.”

Hexamer works downtown and sees these scooters daily. He said he actually helped an injured scooter rider last week.

“Had to call an ambulance because he hit a curb in the parking lot and just laid there. We had to comfort him until the ambulance got there,” Hexamer said. 

He said likes the proposal but wants to take it a step further with something like a scooter enforcer.

“The scooter companies should pay for an enforcer around the city that tells people to get off the side walk with the authority to give tickets,” Hexamer said.

Pryor’s bill would also require scooter companies to have a toll-free customer number.

A representative of scooter provider Lime had no comment, but said its toll-free number is staffed 24/7: 888-546-3345.

The other scooter provider in Indianapolis, Bird, did not respond to a request for comment.