Technophobia is not a sound policy position
The answer is not to regulate or ban e-scooters. The solution is to enforce existing law.
I often roll my eyes when I see technophobia lead to bad policy in government, especially when government leaders want to regulate technology they do not understand. The latest example of technophobia as excuse for regulation comes from Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton and his administration's regulation of electronic scooters. I do wish Mayor Hamilton would be as concerned with stopping people from openly shooting up drugs in the historical original home of Indiana University as he is with consenting adults making financial transactions with other consenting adults to rent and use convenient methods of transportation.
The paranoia over e-scooters and the determination to regulate or ban them demonstrates why we need to elect younger people at all levels of government, but in this case in city government. Younger leaders are less likely to be terrified of new technology and propose government regulations in response to the "scary" new tech. Now city government has implemented a curfew on the use of e-scooters, and has not applied that same curfew to bicycles or motor vehicles.
In particular, using the death of a student in September to justify this ban is horrifyingly dishonest and deeply cynical. Here is the truth: A drunk driver was on the sidewalk and struck the man on the scooter. The drunk driver also nearly slaughtered a pedestrian, who had to jump out of the way into the grass to avoid her speeding vehicle. Even classifying a drunk driver on the sidewalk as a "scooter accident" is morally abhorrent victim blaming.
The presence of scooters did create some challenges that did not exist before they appeared in 2018. But there is no need to create special regulations for scooters, and certainly no need to enforce a curfew for the use of them that does not apply to any other mode of transportation. The answer is to make sure the same regulations apply to the scooters as to every other mode of transportation, and to make sure rented scooters are not discarded in a way that blocks traffic or becomes litter. But that would not satisfy an authoritarian impulse or indulge populist technophobia, so regulation it is.
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