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National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky

2019 State Convention Resolution 2019-02

Regarding the Dockless Electric Scooters

WHEREAS, dockless electric scooters are a new form of transportation that has become increasingly popular in the United States and the state of Kentucky; and

WHEREAS, the appeal of these scooters is that they may be retrieved from and left anywhere because they do not need to be parked at a docking station or rack; and

WHEREAS, as a result users are leaving these scooters in locations that block curb cuts, obstruct sidewalks, block bus stops and stoops, and generally disrupt the flow of pedestrian traffic; and

WHEREAS, users further endanger pedestrian traffic by riding these scooters on sidewalks and other pedestrian rights-of-way; and

WHEREAS, these scooters are virtually silent when in use, making it impossible for those using nonvisual means of travel to detect them; and

WHEREAS, the public is encouraged to contact the various scooter companies directly to report scooter misuse, request that a scooter be moved, or report an injury or other concern by calling the company, visiting the website, or making a report using the app; and

WHEREAS, the blind cannot identify the scooter companies’ names, phone numbers, or websites because the information on the scooter is available only in print; and

WHEREAS, blind people are further denied the opportunity to make reports or issue complaints, since scooter websites and apps are generally not accessible via access technology; and

WHEREAS, few laws in the United States regulate the use of these scooters, and laws that do exist are inconsistent from city to city; and

WHEREAS, stories concerning the lack of safety, regulation, and consistent laws have recently appeared with increasing frequency in the Kentucky news outlets: now, therefore

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Kentucky in Convention assembled this twenty second day of September, 2019, in the City of Louisville, Kentucky, that this organization call upon Kentucky’s legislators to work with other members of the United States Congress establish a minimum sound standard for dockless electric scooters; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization urge its members to join with the parent organization of the National Federation of the Blind to insist that the government enact laws regulating scooter use to control parking, prohibit riding on sidewalks, and generally avoid disrupting the flow of pedestrian traffic; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization demand that all dockless electric scooter companies place their company name, scooter identification number, and contact information on each scooter in a format accessible and easily detectible by the blind and that these companies develop accessible websites and mobile applications so that blind pedestrians can easily communicate reports of misuse or injury.