Scoot over, the scooters are here! Ban on campus remains
The University of Arizona will continue to enforce its ban on electric scooters on campus even after the recent pilot launch of the scooters in Tucson.
City council members were divided, but ultimately voted 5-2 to approve a pilot program in downtown.
In October 2018, the UA officially banned the use of dockless electric scooters on campus. Now, scooters' wheels will come to a stop when they reach a specific barrier at the campus perimeter.
According to Jim Sayre, executive director of Parking and Transportation Services, the policy was partly put into place to ensure the accessibility on campus stays intact, especially for those with disabilities.
“We ban them for safety reasons. We’re concerned for the students and employees and visitors that are traversing around campus,” Sayre said. “We just haven't learned enough to know that they're safe enough to be on campus.”
According to Sayre, the original UA ban came about in response to what was happening across the country. Companies were dropping scooters off at cities and university campuses and expecting those cities and universities to figure it out, and because it wasn't well organized, there were significant injuries associated. He also noted that Campus Health will be tracking the number of injuries caused by electric scooters.
Katelyn Adams, a freshman psychology student, views electric scooters differently.
“I don’t think they need to be banned," Adams said. "As for the students, I think people just need to be aware of their surroundings."
In an effort to compromise, the UA has created twenty-three parking locations. However, there are some scooters that fall through the cracks.
“[What] I’m a little bit worried about are the personally-owned electric scooters that the geo-fence will not restrict their access to campus,” Sayre said. “Parking and Transportation, the university police are engaging those students and employees that have scooters as opportunities present themselves.”
Sayre went on the explain that on the first offense, the owner of the scooter would receive an “FYI notice." After the grace period, all scooters found on campus will be impounded and the owner will be fined $100.
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In March of 2019, Ward Six Councilman Steve Kozachik, who represents the neighborhoods around the UA and Tucson’s downtown area, expressed his reason for opposition. As one of the two votes against electric scooters coming to Tucson, Kozachik said he believes that the scooters will result in the same issues as they have in many major cities, such as Tempe.
He explained to the Daily Wildcat that major issues were the enforcement of traffic laws and the potential for accidents.
Ward Three Councilman Paul Durham said in March that the pilot program is a step in the right direction since it offers a choice instead of a flat out refusal.
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