Ald. Bob Bauman
Press Release

Dockless scooters put unsuspecting public in legal jeopardy

“It’s irresponsible for this company to come into Milwaukee and place the unsuspecting public in legal jeopardy.”

By - Jun 28th, 2018 11:23 am

You may have seen dockless, rental scooters parked on various sidewalks or being operated on local streets, but what you may not know is that it is illegal to operate these electric vehicles on any public road or sidewalk in Wisconsin.

Alderman Robert J. Bauman, chair of the Public Works Committee, takes issue with the company that has placed these scooters – Bird.

“It’s irresponsible for this company to come into Milwaukee and place the unsuspecting public in legal jeopardy,” said Alderman Bauman, who represents downtown where these electric scooters have been appearing. “Quite simply these vehicles are not authorized for use on sidewalks or city streets and for good reason.”

The City Attorney has indicated that “BIRD’s Motorized Scooters may NOT be lawfully operated on any public street or sidewalk in the City of Milwaukee. Whether defined as a vehicle (Wis. Stat. Sec. 340.01(35)), motor vehicle (Wis. Stat. Sec. 340.01(35)) or a play vehicle (Wis. Stat. Sec. 340.01(43m)), under no circumstances may motorized scooters operate on a public street because they are not designed for on-street use…Consequently, any operator of a BIRD motor scooter on a city street or sidewalk is subject to a $98.80 citation for Operating an Unregistered Motor Vehicle upon a Highway contrary to Wis. Stat. Sec. 341.04(1). Based on circumstances, there may be other traffic law violations committed by the operator (such as OWI).”

“Bird has been made aware that use of its scooters is illegal but they are choosing to proceed anyway. It has recklessly undertaken a publicity stunt which could victimize its own clientele by encouraging them to violate the law and suffer consequences because of it,” said Alderman Bauman.

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