TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The new electric scooters in Tampa have caused a stir over the past few weeks.
They’ve been spotted in all the wrong places: 7th Avenue in Ybor City, on the Tampa Riverwalk. A group of riders was even recorded taking a spin in the WFLA parking lot.
Then, on Thursday, the first serious crash involving a scooter happened.
John M. Edgerton, 33, of Hillsborough County, was seriously hurt when the Lime scooter he was on crossed into the path of a tractor-trailer truck along North 20th Street, a Tampa Police Department spokesman said.
He remains in critical condition at Tampa General Hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said Friday.
“With all the drivers around, everybody is doing everything but driving. It’s inevitable it’s going to happen,” said Tampa resident Susan Kent.
Other people said they like the scooters, but acknowledge the use must come with some responsibility.
“I can see where it’s a problem if they’re riding in the street,” said Tampa resident Gloria Rio.
The thing is – riding in the street is perfectly legal as of this week.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation that paves the way for scooters to be used like bicycles, meaning it’s okay to ride in the road.
Tampa’s scooter program has rules that say they can only be used on sidewalks. Leaders plan to re-examine things soon.
“We had already planned to look at the effect that the recent legislation had on our ordinance we passed as part of this pilot program,” said Jean Duncan, Tampa’s director of transportation and storm water services.