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A recent Florida Politics article, “Scooter bill coasts through first committee,” focuses on Florida House of Representatives Bill 453 (HB 453) – i.e., the scooters bill. With prevailing opinion of no controversy to HB 453, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee gave it a unanimous vote to continue its progress. In the article, Dean Mead’s director of strategy & management and one of the firm’s lobbyists, Christopher Moya, provides some insight about HB 453.
HB 453 – Is it as simple as it seems?
Florida HB 453 appears to be written to allow local governments the regulation of e-scooters the same way as bicycles. Currently, riders may only use scooters on the sidewalk, due to maximum speeds of less than 30 mph. The existing law says street use of motorized vehicles must be 30 mph or more. HB 453 stipulates a lowered speed requirement of 20 mph, resulting in street legal e-scooters. Yet, the article states that HB 453 actually has a provision requiring that, as long as e-scooter companies carry $1 million in liability insurance and $5 million in workers’ compensation insurance, local governments must give a scooter company a license to operate. Beyond required licensure, local governments do not have any input. More than a few government officials disagreed with the subcommittee’s vote decision.
Details provided by Moya in the article further expounded on another aspect of HB 453 that also began to grow as a source of contention. It is related to companies that provide a popular alternative mode of transportation with continued demand by U.S. cities large and small – bike-sharing. Multiple regulations were involved in order for the companies to be allowed operation in cities.
Moya explained that when local governments in South Florida originally inked deals with bike-sharing companies, those contracts required the companies to have warehouse space on call and a plan to get all of their equipment indoors in the case of a hurricane or other natural disaster.
The full article may be read here.
If you have questions about this issue or any other governmental legal issue, please contact one of Dean Mead’s Government Relations attorneys.