The City of Wheeling has recently introduced Bird scooters to its transportation routes and Wheeling Police are reminding travelers of some important traffic and safety information. The new motorized scooters can be found in various areas of the city, most notably in downtown and Centre Market.

Users must be 18 years of age or older to use, and must ride on the road, on Heritage Trail or in a bike lane. Travelers are being reminded that scooters are not permitted on sidewalks or the interstate highway, and only one person can ride on a scooter. Helmets are also recommended but are not required.

Users should park the scooter anywhere on the sidewalk in the “furniture zone,” as long as they don’t block access for others. The furniture zone is the area between the curb and the walkway where there may already be trash receptacles, bus stops, benches, and bike racks. Parked devices should not block:

  • the pedestrian walkway (leave at least 6′ of space)
  • bus stops and shelters
  • doorways and emergency exits
  • fire hydrants and standpipes
  • driveways and sidewalk ramps

Wheeling Police also remind all travelers – both scooter users and vehicular traffic to share the road. People riding scooters are allowed on the road. While they will likely use trails or bike lanes when available, scooter riders can be in the middle of the travel lane to be visible and to avoid road hazards. Slow down and drive with caution.

“We don’t want people to be hit by cars. We have a lot of traffic crashes already in the city and now we’re adding another device that’s going to be maneuvering around town. It’s a great way for people to commute and get around town, lunch breaks etc., we just don’t want anyone to get hurt.”

Lt. Josh Sanders – Wheeling Police

Drivers may pass people on scooters if they leave at least three feet between the motor vehicle and the rider. This is state law. Where possible, change lanes to pass. You may cross a double yellow line to pass as long as you safely yield to oncoming traffic. Make sure you are safely ahead of the rider before merging back into the right lane. If there is not room to pass safely, follow behind at a safe distance until you can pass.

If there is a scooter parked in the wrong place – contact Bird directly. The best way to have the scooter addressed is to report the specific location and problem to Bird support line at 866-205-2442, or via the smartphone Bird app.

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