If you’ve been in Downtown Toledo recently, you may have seen hundreds of new electric bikes and scooters throughout the City. The City of Toledo recently announced a pilot partnership with micro-mobility company VEO to operate a scooter and bike share right here in the 419. Let’s take a closer look in this Safer Streets video from the Personal Injury lawyers at Sawan & Sawan.
First off, unlike the former ToleGO bike share, There is no cost to the city for this new program. Instead, the entire ride share system is funded by the rental cost. The pedal powered bikes cost $0 dollars to unlock and $1 per hour, while there electric bikes and scooter cost $1 to unlock and $.35 per minute. They operate from 5 am to midnight daily.
The fleet is composed of 3 different options:
Pedal Powered Bikes
Electric Scooters and Bikes
Click Below to Download the VEO App:
Using the Veo app, riders can easily scan a QR code to unlock the device. However, before you take your first ride – there are some important things you should know to keep yourself safe and legal.
- Flow With Traffic. Toledo Municipal Code 373.21 makes it a misdemeanor crime to “ride a motorized bicycle upon any sidewalk within the City.” In general, it’s best to ride these electric vehicles in the flow of traffic and obey all traffic laws as if you were in a car.
- Wear a Helmet. Whenever possible, be sure to wear a helmet. Traumatic brain injuries are some of the most devastating injuries – so make sure you are protecting yourself when you ride.
- Don’t Drink and Ride. Many people are surprised to learn that you can get a DUI on a bike – even if it is not motorized. Not only does drinking an driving increase the risk of injury, but it can result in costly criminal charges. Skip the scooters if you are over the legal limit.
- Check Your Insurance. Insurance can get complicated when dealing with scooter accidents, but in general, we recommend purchasing uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on YOUR car insurance policy for all drivers on Ohio roads. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage may be applicable for scooter accidents because UM/UIM policies generally cover accidents involving the “use” of a motor vehicle, which could arguable apply to an electric scooter accident. However, while Ohio Revised Code section 3937.18 specifically excludes motorized bicycles from the definition of “motor vehicles” – scooters fall into a bit of a gray area as they are not specially listed. At best, having UI-UIM coverage can provide your lawyer with an argument to make for coverage, providing you with at least the possibility of insurance coverage if your injured. It’s also a good idea to ask your insurance agent if you have any questions about your specific policy coverage.
- Signal All Turns. Signal your intention when turning. Scooters and Ebikes do not have turn signals – so it’s all the more important that you are communicating with vehicles on the road.
Lastly, drivers around Downtown Toledo need to take extra care to ensure they are driving carefully and defensively.
- Watch those blind spots. Scooters are small and low to the ground, so it’s easy for them to get lost in a cars blind spot. Take extra caution to ensure that no rider is in your blind spot before changing lanes or turning.
- Watch you speed. Scooters and bicyclists are far more vulnerable on the road than drivers of cars. Respect this reality by slowing down as you pass a scooter rider.
- Patience is important. Scooters and electric bikes are speed limited, meaning that they can only go about 18 miles per hour. If a scooter or electric bike gets in front of your car, be patient. Do not tailgate or use other aggressive tactics like hostile horn honking, as they can startle the score rider and cause then to lose balance or crash.
- Be vigilant at night. The Toledo scooter program runs from 5 am to midnight daily, meaning that scooters will be out after dark. While the bikes and scooters are fairly well lit, be extra aware when driving at night.
About the Authors: Sawan & Sawan is a Toledo, Ohio based law firm representing clients in the areas of Personal Injury, Truck Accidents, and Car Accidents with lawyers licensed to practice in Ohio, Michigan and Georgia.
Dennis P. Sawan
Licensed in Ohio and Georgia
Christopher A. Sawan
Licensed in Ohio and Michigan