Georgia Senate Passes Electric Scooter Legislation

A bill that would leave it to local governments to regulate electric scooters cleared the Georgia Senate this week, addressing a set of vehicles that have overtaken Atlanta and other cities across the state.

by David Wickert, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution / February 5, 2020
Tallahassee is piloting electric scooters for a three month trial period. (Shutterstock)

(TNS) — A bill that would leave it to local governments to regulate electric scooters cleared the Georgia Senate Tuesday.

Senate Bill 159 defines the devices that have overtaken Atlanta and some other cities across the state. But it does not impose statewide rules of the road or other regulations.

Sen. Steve Gooch, R-Dahlonega, the bill’s sponsor, said it acknowledges that “one size does not fit all” when it comes to scooter rules.

“We didn’t want to overregulate the industry,” Gooch told his colleagues Tuesday. “We want to encourage more development of this kind of technology.”

Last year, lawmakers struggled to develop statewide regulations that satisfied both local governments and scooter companies. SB 159 sidesteps those disputes by leaving regulations to cities and counties.

SB 159 would define electric scooters as any device that weighs less than 100 pounds and is: *Equipped with handlebars and an electric motor.

  • Powered by an electric motor, human power or both.
  • Capable of a maximum speed of no more than 20 mph.

The term does not include electric bikes, motorcycles, mopeds or electric personal assistive mobility devices.

Senators approved an amendment to the bill allowing local governments to impose liability insurance requirements for scooters.

The bill passed on a 47 to 0 vote. It now heads to the House of Representatives.

©2020 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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