**Watch our previous report on e-scooters in the video above**
CLEVELAND (WJW) — City leaders are reminding citizens to be safe now that e-scooters have returned to Cleveland’s streets.
Beginning Saturday, e-scooters and other shared mobility devices are available in the city. They can be operated between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. at a maximum speed of 15 mph. The city says these “summer hours” will remain in effect through Labor Day.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the city has also issued additional safety protocols regarding the scooters.
Companies are required to follow applicable federal, state and local COVID-19 guidelines, and must sanitize the devices any time employees interact with them, including for recharging, rebalancing and maintenance. Riders are encouraged to wash their hands before and after riding, and to wipe down high touch surfaces like the handlebars before riding.
Additionally, city leaders remind e-scooter users to abide by the following safety guidelines:
- Ride in the street. Scooter and bike riders should ride in the street with the flow of traffic, following traffic rules and using bike lanes where possible.
- Be visible. Never assume a driver sees you. Ride at least three feet from the curb so you are in the line of sight of other road users.
- Be predictable. Follow all traffic laws, including stopping when the traffic light is red. Avoid weaving and riding erratically.
- Park responsibly. Don’t block the sidewalk, bus stops, doorways, fire hydrants, or driveways.
- Don’t get stranded. Under the new expanded operating hours, scooters will deactivate between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. Keep this in mind when planning your rides.
- Ride smart. Don’t carry objects that keep you from controlling the scooter or bike. Don’t be distracted or ride with headphones. Don’t drink and ride. Don’t ride more than one person per device.
- Wear a helmet. Permitted vendors are required to give you a free helmet upon request.
Bird launched a pilot e-scooter program in Cleveland in August 2018, but it was short-lived. Days later, the city’s law department ordered all scooters be removed from public streets and sidewalks. The company agreed to voluntarily pause its Cleveland operations.
The scooters returned in August 2019 with permission from city council on a six-month demonstration period. According to the city, Cleveland riders logged 2.5 million minutes during 213,000 rides during that time.
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