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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott: 'Action is needed' on e-scooters

AUSTIN – Gov. Greg Abbott is over these dang e-scooters. 

The governor on Tuesday tweeted video of a man riding an e-scooter on Interstate 35 in Dallas, writing: "that does it. I believe in less government. But allowing these scooters on crowded interstate highways is bad government and endangers public safety. Action is needed."

The video Abbott shared shows a man traveling on the highway during the morning rush hour. 

Like San Antonio, Dallas has operational regulations for dockless vehicles that prohibit riders from traveling outside certain areas. For Dallas, dockless vehicles are prohibited from being driven on sidewalks or outside downtown.

While many remarked that the rider's actions shouldn't be legal, another articulated Abbott's thoughts, responding: "For those that are asking how is this legal? It isn’t. It’s called impeding traffic and he could still face traffic violations should he ever be identified. The question is how do we regulate these motor bikes? Is there a way that we can set these bikes up to prohibit this?"

Abbott's call for action comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in April 2019 released a study, conducted in partnership with Austin officials, which found that the injury incidence rate was 14.3 per 100,000 e-scooter trips. The majority of the injuries that occurred during the 87-day study period occurred on the street and were head injuries. 

The San Antonio Fire Department said it has responded to more than 170 accidents related to e-scooters since it began tracking medical calls for such incidents in late September, with nearly 100 people being sent to the hospital.

Advocates of accessibility have long complained that the prevalence of scooters has made public transportation difficult for individuals with disabilities as the dockless vehicles are often strewn throughout sidewalks.

The ban of e-scooters on sidewalks in San Antonio took effect July 1 and, so far, San Antonio police said they have written two citations and given 192 warnings.