ABILENE Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Multiple videos taken by a Downtown Abilene resident has shown just how reckless some e-scooter riders can be when the sun goes down. Riders in her videos following, cutting off, and harassing Abilene drivers.
“I waited from May until now, hoping that the situation was going to get better as we moved along. But it just hasn’t, it’s actually gotten worse and now people are getting hurt,” said Hotel Wooten Apartments tennant, Kayla Belle Christianson.
Christianson’s observations brought her to the conclusion that better regulation and education to the public might help the situation.
“There needs to be some enforcement because right now,” pleaded Christianson. “It’s a free for all, it really is.”
Luckily for this Downtown Abilene resident, enforcement isn’t far off. Thursday, Abilene Assistant Chief of Police, Richard Waggoner, made clear that the department is well aware of what’s going on downtown.
“We’re all in favor of people using them the way they’re designed,” assured Chief Waggoner. “If you’re not going to do it appropriately then we don’t want you doing it, and we’ll take enforcement action if necessary… We are looking at hiring extra patrols to work the downtown area.”
As part of their investigation into the misuse of the scooters, Chief Waggoner told KTAB/KRBC the department has entered an ‘open dialogue’ with Bird Corporate – hoping to pinpoint who was riding each scooter and when.
“There are certain legal requirements, subpoenas and such,” Chief Waggoner said. “They [Bird] have been willing to help us on that.”
Though the Bird App has a built in age restriction, security doesn’t seem to be enough to keep the transportation out of underage hands.
“If these are 13, 14 and 15-year-olds, which they are, they’re spoiling it,” Christianson advised. “They’re making it so we can’t have nice things.”
Though the issues with Bird riders seem to fade as the sun comes up, Christianson has noticed and documented in her videos.
“During the day, I’ve seen individuals with helmets on that are riding them safely. I know of residents in the hotel Wooten that ride them to work and back,” Christianson said.
Abilenians like Christianson have recently been calling for better regulation and education in hopes of preventing the situation from getting any worse.
“A ticket’s the least of your worries,” Chief Waggoner added. “You don’t want to end up getting hit by a car or getting seriously injured, or dead.”