ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — St. Petersburg Police are warning e-scooter riders to follow the rules of the road, or face fines, after a recent deadly crash.
E-scooters were rolled out in 2021 and have become a popular way to get around town.
“I really like them,” Audrey Engelbrecht said. “I think they are a fun way to like explore the city and just like get around quick.”
Despite their fun nature, police are warning that e-scooters can be dangerous if riders don’t follow the rules.
“They come up from behind you and you just can’t hear them at all,” Alison Hardage said. “And you don’t know if they see you moving this way to get out of the way of something else in front.”
St. Pete police said they will be stepping up enforcement after a deadly crash in September. According to Police, two people were riding a Veo scooter on the sidewalk when they hit an 81-year-old woman. The victim died in the hospital a few days later.
“It creates a hazard for the people that are walking,” Sgt. Michael Schade with the St. Petersburg Police Traffic Section. “The scooters can go up to 15 mph so if somebody’s riding a scooter on a sidewalk at 15 mph, it’s going to be a significant danger to somebody if they get hit by one.”
Police said they have a team of officers downtown making sure riders are following city ordinances, including staying off the sidewalk, and not riding tandem.
“The main things are riding on sidewalk, riding tandem, riding impaired, and don’t use your cell phone while you’re riding on the scooters,” Schade said.
Police are not releasing any additional details about the deadly incident, citing the ongoing investigation.