Las Vegas Strip Threatened by Misuse of Mobility Scooters
Posted on: September 29, 2020, 08:54h.
Last updated on: September 30, 2020, 10:26h.
Irresponsible use of scooters by young and recreational riders along The Strip has been targeted by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police and rental businesses.
Officers are stepping up enforcement to ensure the safe use of scooters. They want to avoid putting pedestrians in danger by riders’ sometimes erratic driving.
Misuse of scooters has begun over the last couple of months. Complaints were made to the police department, Metro Police Public Information Officer Larry Hadfield confirmed to Casino.org on Tuesday.
Younger folks are acting irresponsibly in groups,” Hadfield said. “It will attract the attention of others.”
Younger riders were sometimes careless, according to the police. In other instances, scooters were used for crimes, according to a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
In one incident, a rider jumped off the scooter and stabbed someone, police told the newspaper. In another incident, a rider allegedly sold illegal drugs while on a scooter, the report adds.
“We are aware of problems,” Hadfield said. “We are working with our community partners.”
Some Scooter Users Intoxicated, Lazy
Locally, one Reddit poster said a man and woman were “playing dodge car in the Forum Shops” at Caesars about a month ago. They almost hit pedestrians and appeared intoxicated, the poster further claimed on the social media site.
Other Reddit posters complained that some scooter riders in Las Vegas appear to not require the vehicles. They simply are too lazy to walk, the posters claim.
Because scooters are rented out by private businesses, only limited laws govern their use, police said. They are considered to be like “mobile pedestrians,” Hadfield explained.
Metro police are attempting to get further guidance from Clark County ordinances, Hadfield adds. He is unsure about any speed limit for the scooters. Most appear to travel no more than slightly over 5 mph.
Riders do not have to prove they are disabled to rent a scooter. It is clear scooters cannot be driven on the road, but need to be operated on sidewalks.
Scooter providers are putting new rules in place to govern their use, too. Local scooter rental businesses are working with police to ensure no one can rent more than one scooter at a time. Renters must leave a deposit and provide contact information. Businesses are tracking scooters and hold customers accountable for misuse.
Changing Vegas Clientele
Emerson Kruger — the owner of Paradise, Nevada-based 702 Scooters — said he noticed more younger people trying to rent the scooters in Nevada starting a few weeks ago. He spoke with police officers to try to find a solution to the misuse of vehicles.
As a result of the demand from younger customers, 702 Scooters recently posted a warning on its website. “Our services are intended to be used by people with disabilities and our seniors.”
Before the COVID-19 outbreak, the business got mostly seniors as its customers. Mature visitors often came from out of state and took a flight to Las Vegas. Scooters were used to get from hotels to casinos, entertainment venues, and malls. They were an option to taxis or Uber ridesharing.
Now, we’re getting a lot of young people,” Kruger told Casino.org. If anyone in their late teens or 20s tries to rent, Kruger said the business will not rent to them unless they are handicapped.
The age of many of the renters basically begins in the late 30s and 40s, Kruger said. These customers have mobility issues.
The business gets very few seniors coming in for scooters since the pandemic. Now, most have stopped visiting Las Vegas because conventions were canceled and shows were postponed.
“Vegas is totally different than before COVID,” Kruger said. “Las Vegas is very tired.”
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