Panama City Beach is a cornerstone for various types of outdoor equipment rentals. One popular attraction is the rental of scooters. Scooters can be a great way for both residents and tourists to take in the beautiful scenery that Panama City has to offer. Although these vehicles are viewed as slow moving and harmless, like any motorized equipment they can actually result in severe injuries or even wrongful death. As Panama City's leading personal injury firm, we know that scooter accidents are no laughing matter.
A scooter may appear to look similar to a motorcycle, but under Florida law, they are treated differently. According to the DMV, to legally drive a motorized scooter a rider must adhere to the following requirements:
On the other hand, the driver of a motorcycle must follow much more stringent requirements:
Motorcycles are considered to be dangerous, and therefore these stricter rules are meant to protect injuries and deaths resulting from motorcycle accidents. However, due to an increase in scooter accidents, Panama City has upped the ante in scooter rentals as well.
Panama City Beach Council discussed certain regulation changes in scooter rentals on Thursday. According to News Herald, this is in part because the Panama City Beach Police Chief made a statement that scooters often cause accidents and traffic problems. He attributes these problems to the fact that adults and kids view scooters as a form of entertainment and don't abide by traffic rules. This creates a danger to both the person riding the scooter as well as other motorists on the road. Initially, the proposed ordinance for scooters included the following key points:
Some of these changes resulted in an outrage by some scooter rental companies. Their biggest qualm was the liability insurance requirement. The proposed ordinance, in an attempt to mirror the county' liability insurance requirements, would force companies to carry commercial general liability with the following terms:
Scooter rental companies feared that this new requirement would drive them out of business. Luckily for them, News Herald confirmed that during the Thursday meeting, the council chose to eliminate the liability insurance requirement. However, riders who fail to wear the vest or do not carry a scooter safety brochure could be fined anywhere between $100 and $500. Our Panama City personal injury firm hopes that these new regulations will make the roads safer for all drivers.