Electric scooters and eBikes are great for getting out and staying active. That’s part of living an #ElectricLife after all. But for a growing number of riders, light electric vehicles (LEV) like e-scooters are more about commuting smarter. Such is the case with Matthew Bradshaw, who rides to work on his Swagger 5 Elite.
ESCOOTERS — FASTER THAN LEGISLATION
Technology moves quickly. Legislation? Not so much. Legislators have been slow to create laws and classifications for LEVs. With official classifications (and therefore, ordinances regulating them) the legality of electric scooters could come into question.
We touched on the complicated legality of electric scooters before:
“Whether you can legally ride your electric scooter will depend on a confusing mix of state and local laws. Your state might allow e-scooters; your city might not. A city might encourage e-scooters as a smart, efficient way to get around town; your college might think otherwise.”
Take New York as an example. We mentioned that the riding an electric scooter in the state of New York was, technically, illegal. Even electric bikes were suspect in a lot of areas. But that technicality didn’t stop couriers and commuters alike in New York City from riding electric scooters and eBikes within city limits. Undoubtedly, this was common in other cities too.
Despite electric scooters being available to the public for several years mdash; and eBikes being available even longer! mdash; New York only just recently passed a bill that legalized electric bikes and electric scooters statewide.
When it came to public transportation and issues of mobility, the city council in Wichita, KS, had its sights on a new electric scooter pilot program. This would make it legal to ride an eScooter in downtown Wichita. And that’s great for anyone who needed the extra help getting around downtown.
There was just one problem.
It didn’t take into consideration residents outside downtown limits who already owned an electric scooter.
Matthew Bradshaw is one such resident.
A MAN AND HIS SWAGGER (5 ELITE)
Bradshaw, who lived just outside downtown, would be one such person negatively affected by the pilot program, according to Kansas NBC affiliate KSN-TV. (link: https://www.ksn.com/news/wichita-temporarily-pumps-brakes-on-scooter-pilot-program/)
Wichita’s ordinance would have focused solely on downtown Wichita. In other residential areas, the legality of an electric scooter would be, at best, uncertain. Other aspects of the ordinance were a no-go for Bradshaw too:
- No scooters on sidewalks.
- No scooters after sundown.
- Scooters only on roads with 40 mph posted speed limits.
(The Swagger 5 Elite is fast, but not that fast.)
In order for Bradshaw to get downtown on his SWAGTRON electric scooter, he’d essentially have to break multiple aspects of the law, 10 times a week, risk his safety, leave work early part of the year or some combination. And while Bradshaw loves his Swagger 5 Elite, could he love it that much? Would he dare?
Fortunately, this love story has a happy ending. Bradshaw pled his case with the city council, who decided to pause the pilot program until more research was done.
“I felt like it was a win. I got them to actually listen,” Bradshaw told KSN-TV.
This is not simply a win for Bradshaw. It’s a win for anyone who uses an electric scooter for more than just recreation. Local governments are starting to view electric scooters as a serious mobility alternative, making it easier for some to commute to work and school.
So hats off to you, Matthew Bradshaw. Keep fighting the good fight!
ABOUT THE SWAGGER 5 ELITE ELECTRIC SCOOTER
Want a smarter solution for your commutes?
Grab a Swagger 5 Elite of your own and live your very best #ElectricLife!
The Swagger Elite SG5 features a powerful motor, app integration and lightweight folding design, making it a sleek, elegant solution for personal transport. Three speed modes let you cruise at your most comfortable. Select the fastest to reach speeds of 18 miles per hour for up to 11 miles* thanks to a 250-watt motor and long-lasting Li-ion battery. The Swagger 5 rolls on 8.5-inch wheels with an air-filled rear tire and a maintenance-free honeycomb front tire. It’s a more durable, smoother ride over rough pavement.
When your journey ends, the lightweight aluminum frame folds, making it easy to store or carry. The compact design stows away easily in the trunk of your car, or in almost any closet or space at the home or office.
* Travel distance is measured under the following conditions: 165 lbs (75 kg) rider, traveling at 60% maximum speeds on flat pavement with no strong winds.