City leaders urge caution as electric scooters soar in popularity across Birmingham

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — After launching in April, electric scooters by Veo have taken over the streets of downtown Birmingham.

Amid the popularity, both residents and city leaders have expressed concerns over riders safety, particularly the situation where a woman was hit by a car while riding around Pepper Place several weeks ago. City Councilman Darrell O’Quinn says there have been growing pains during the launch of the scooters.

“The street is inherently dangerous because we have fast moving vehicles,” O’Quinn said.

CBS 42 spoke with several riders at Railroad Park on Tuesday. The majority of the riders say they feel safe when on the scooters and realize if they don’t drive safely, there could be some serious problems.

“It’s not a toy,” Christina Argo with Birmingham Department of Transportation said.

Marlo Stanfield came by Railroad Park on Tuesday for one reason alone.

“Ah man! Literally for the scooters,” Stanfield said.

First time rider Blake Morse says the scooters go a little faster than he expected.

“Feels like it goes 15, 20 miles per hour honestly. It’s pretty quick,” Resident Blake Morse said.

Argo says she was pleasantly surprised with how quick electric scooters became popular in the city.

“We have seen a much warmer welcome than I was anticipating and people really catching on,” Argo said.

Both Morse and Jordan Harvley were riding around on Tuesday. They believe scooters are a great way to get around town and have fun at the same time.

“You’re just embracing the wind in your hair and having fun,” Harvley said.

O’Quinn urges drivers and the company to find a way to avoid accidents. He says if that doesn’t happen, scooters could become a thing of the past.

“If the users and or vendor can’t figure out how to make this work for the city of Birmingham, then it’s going away,” O’Quinn said.

Argo says riders should always use their best judgment while riding and follow all traffic laws in place.

“Ride in the street, helmets are encouraged you’ve got to follow all traffic and safety laws,” Argo said.

O’Quinn wants the scooters to stay in town because he believes they can continue to be successful in the city. And so do riders like Harvley. He hopes people will do everything they can to drive responsibly.

“Value your life and everyone else’s as well,’ Harvley said.

For more information on the rules and regulations of the scooters, click here.

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