Texas Living

Where Did All the Electric Scooters in Texas Go?

By Staci Parks 9.3.21

Electric scooters in Texas cities have seemingly vanished as mysteriously as they appeared a few years ago. The brief history of electric scooters in Texas is complex.

Many Texans saw them as offering a quick, cheap alternate form of public transportation in some of the state’s most vehicle-congested cities; others saw them as a nuisance — a liability waiting to happen.

The battle over electric scooters in Texas has become so intense that some cities banned them, prompting companies to remove them from city streets.

Sidelined for Safety Concerns

The cities instating these seemingly abrupt bans cited safety concerns, including: 

Bodily injuries. In 2018, not long after electric scooters landed, the city of Austin teamed up with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a scooter safety study. Within a three-month span, 190 riders were injured with nearly half suffering head injuries. More alarming, 15% of these riders experienced a traumatic brain injury.

Improper use. Some joyriders operated electric scooters in Texas as toys instead of as a form of transportation. Such behaviors included piling multiple riders on a single scooter, weaving through crowded sidewalks at high speeds, and attempting dangerous or damaging tricks.

Broken traffic laws. By law, electric scooter operators are required to follow all the regular rules of driving in Texas, including speed limits, traffic lights, and stop signs. But there have been some instances of riders navigating electric scooters on major streets and highways, including one rider cruising through Dallas’ infamous I-35 during morning rush hour. (Of course, this happens with all vehicles.)

Discarded scooters. While there are advantages to dockless scooters, some riders left them in parks, in the middle of busy streets, and along sidewalks and ditches.

The Return of Electric Scooters in Texas

Electric scooters are starting to reemerge in some Texas cities, as local officials are determining ways to regulate their use.

In May, there was chatter of electric scooters returning to the streets of Dallas after a fall 2020 ban. In June, Plano welcomed back electric scooters from a single company — an effort to control the amount and quality of those on the street. Lubbock has allowed 200 scooters back on its streets with a “training mode” set for first-time riders. Cities such as Houston and San Antonio have mandated that electric scooters stay off sidewalks and be operated solely in the street.

Before you get on an electric scooter, talk to your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent. They can help ensure you have the liability coverage you need for such a trek.

No matter what you drive, it’s important to know how to share our state’s highways and byways.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2021 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance