While California has always been at the forefront in the war against global warming, one city is now making the news in a slightly odd way. The City of Fresno is drafting an ordinance on e-scooters that are touted as being an eco-friendly form of transportation in a world set on reducing CO2 emissions. While it does make good sense, there are some factors which need to be considered when drafting the ordinance and most of those are probably centered on weighing the benefits against the dangers inherent in such a mode of ‘transportation.’ Let’s take a brief look at what those challenges might be.
What Kinds of Risks Are Involved?
City commissions are always tasked with writing ordinances that have public safety at the root. When it comes to e-scooters, this can be especially challenging on several levels. Yes, electric scooters coming to Fresno sounds exciting, but what are the risks involved when you think of riding on a scooter that is not enclosed and there is little protection if you are involved in an accident?
The commission must come up with where scooters will be allowed, how they are to be ridden, safety gear such as helmets, and maybe kneepads which must be worn and so forth. It will be a field day for lawyers when those accident reports start filing in! The first few taken to court will probably set the stage for case law, but that’s another matter altogether. This is just a bit of musing on some of what the commission is up against in legislating the ordinance.
As to the Issue of Global Warming…
Here is where you must understand that Fresno is largely a college town. There are tens of thousands of students on the street on any given day and when driving to and from campus, those emissions can quickly reach beyond the hazard level. E-scooters are battery operated ‘vehicles’ that simply need to be recharged from an electric outlet. There is no combustion engine, no gas, and no fumes. It’s really quite simple and e-scooters don’t take as much charging as electric cars, so they don’t really consume as much electricity either. Bear in mind those batteries are smaller!
Not What They Were Hoping For!
When one company from Santa Barbara, Bird, brought e-scooters to Fresno last year in an attempt to promote them as eco-friendly, the results were not quite what they expected! Instead of being met with appreciation for the emissions that could be reduced, the City banned them until an ordinance could be passed!
Although there is currently a ban still in effect, e-scooters are, indeed, coming to Fresno. It is expected that the final draft will be passed at some point in the next few months and that by the time fall semester opens, there will be e-scooter rentals allowed in Fresno. It’s too soon to tell, but at this point, the entire state is watching to see how the commissioners handle this new attempt to reduce CO2 in a fun way that students just might take to.
Article Submitted By Community Writer