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Electric Scooters

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Background

With the 2018 influx of scooters in Austin, a large number found their way to The University of Texas along with an increase in related injuries and confusion about usage rules and expectations. In light of these concerns, executive leadership asked a campus workgroup to provide recommendations on policy and enforcement measures.

These recommendations were developed in coordination with PTS, UTPD, Office of Campus Safety, University Health Services, Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs, Legal Affairs, Financial and Administrative Services, and campus governance groups.

Electric scooters are available for usage by campus visitors, students, staff and faculty. Those who utilize electric scooters must operate them according to campus rules and regulations.

Campus Rules and Guidelines for Scooter Operation

  • Scooters may only be operated in areas where bicycle traffic is allowed.
  • Scooters should be operated at a low speed in the presence of pedestrians and pedestrians always have the right of way.
  • Scooters must be operated in a safe manner and may be subject to citations if operated in manner determined to be reckless.
  • Scooters should be parked at bike racks or in designated scooter parking spaces/areas only.
  • There is a $150 impound fee for scooters parked in the following ways:Violation of scooter parking regulations related to a university event
  • Parking in a manner that obstructs ADA access or parking
  • Parking in doorways
  • Blocking ramps and stairways
  • Parking improperly on Speedway Mall
  • Parking improperly on the Main Mall
  • A $75 fee is applied to all other scooter impounds.
  • There is no charging of commercial scooters on campus.
  • Scooter access is limited on home football game days and may be limited during other large scale events.

Scooter Safety

Help ensure safety for users, pedestrians, bicyclists, and others by observing the following safety rules:

  • Scooters may only be operated in areas where bicycle traffic is allowed.
  • Scooters should not be operated on sidewalks unless traveling to or from a bicycle rack or scooter box parking area.
  • Pedestrians always have priority right of way. Scooters are required to yield to pedestrian traffic.
  • Scooters are responsible for following all the rules of the road.
  • Scooters should be operated at a low speed in the presence of pedestrians.
  • UTPD treats scooter users as cyclists. They seek voluntary compliance and safety first. However, if they see dangerous scooter use, they will enforce state traffic laws. An example of unsafe use is recklessly riding a scooter where there is a large number of pedestrians.
  • Be aware of geofencing areas where commercial scooter speeds are automatically reduced to 8 mph.
  • If you are unfamiliar with scooter operations, take time to look at operation and safety information provided by the scooter company that you use.
  • Scooters can start very quickly for those unfamiliar, so start off slowly to keep the scooter from running out from under you.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and operate scooters safely.
  • Scooters are meant for single riders only.
  • Don’t wear earbuds when operating a scooter.
  • Keep both hands on the scooter handle bar at all times.
  • Wear helmets and follow other safety guidance.
  • Don’t operate a scooter while impaired.
  • Use caution in pathways that cross.
  • Electric scooters and electric bicycles are not permitted beyond check points when football game day traffic restrictions are in effect.
  • Follow all UT-Austin parking rules.

Resources

Campus rules and guidelines for scooter operation are available online.

News

Electric Scooters Are Popping Up in Cities Across the Country. But Are They Safe? – Time – February 5, 2019
Lower Speed Limits, Impoundings in the Future for Dockless Scooters on Campus – Daily Texan – January 24, 2019
New Scooter Rules, Fines on UT Campus as Students Head Back to Class – KXAN – January 22, 2019
Dockless Companies Now Face $150 Fines For Scooters Parked In The Wrong Places At UT – KUT  – January 22, 2019
UT Students Could Pay a $150 Fine with New Scooter Rules – KVUE – January 22, 2019
UT Issues New Set of Rules, Potential Fees for Commercial Scooters – KEYE – January 22, 2019
UT Enforcing New Rules for Electric Scooters on Campus – FOX 7 – January 22, 2019
Colleges That Rushed to Fund Electric Scooter Startups Don’t Love Them on Campus – Bloomberg Businessweek – January 22, 2019
New Scooter Rules, Regulations Likely Coming to University of Texas Campus in 2019 – The Daily Texan – December, 21, 2018

 

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