Electric Scooter Apocalypse

Electric Scooters Are Taking Over Virginia Beach

In July of 2019, it was announced that 500 Lime scooters would be distributed around areas of Virginia Beach. Lime scooters, along with Bird scooters, have made a huge impact on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. At almost every other corner, there are scooters waiting to be ridden. They have created an easy, efficient, and fun form of transportation for locals and tourists. However, they may not be fun for everyone.

There has been much worry and concern for safety surrounding these scooters. It was reported from a captain of the Virginia Beach Police Department that there has been concern about minors riding, reckless drivers, and many incidents where there are two people riding the same scooter at once. The first fatal accidents involving electric scooters were in 2018 when three people in the cities of Cleveland, Washington D.C. and Dallas passed away after a scooter accident.  It was also mentioned that over a 10 day period in Virginia Beach, there were nearly 2,000 riders stopped- mainly on the boardwalk – since that is also a highly enforced rule that prohibits bikes and scooters except on the designated path. In July of 2019, the city council ordered Bird and Lime users to only use the scooters in the trolley lanes on Atlantic Avenue. 

Cape Henry student, Ali Gordon (‘20), stated that there are many Bird and Lime users surrounding her neighborhood since she lives so close to the Oceanfront. Ali has seen many users “throw their scooters” into her bushes and has had to have the workers of the company come to her house to take them to a different location. According to Madeline Ripa (‘20), she does not favor them as much as others do. She stated that there are many users using the scooters “irresponsibly.” Madeline has not only seen them at the Oceanfront but also around Norfolk.

On the other side of the spectrum, there are some positives of having these accessible scooters according to Wyatt Cake (‘20). Wyatt stated that the scooters are “fun, but dangerous,” and he has almost gotten hit by one on the boardwalk. Trevor Kidd (’20) and Joshua Mickens (’20) also agree with Wyatt that Birds and Limes are “fun,” but they could be dangerous for drivers who have been drinking and for people who are not smart with how they use them.

Recently in August of 2019, the Virginia Beach City Council voted to ban electric scooters at the Oceanfront. They have made the decision to limit the number of scooters down by the beach after hearing from Sentara hospitals that there has been an increase of injuries since the scooters’ debut.