A 12-year old riding an e-scooter along Crandon Boulevard was hit by a car Thursday evening and needed emergency transport, officials said. The child was reported in stable condition, said Fire-Rescue Deputy Chief Marcos Osorio.
It was the third e-scooter collision in 24 hours, said Police Chief Frank Sousa, who said the use of e-scooter and e-bikes in the village was again becoming a safety issue.
“We clamped down on the school dismissals today,” Sousa said. “We are going to have a serious accident.”
Sousa said the collision took place near the intersection of East Enid and Crandon Boulevard after the child had pressed the crosswalk button and signal flashers had activated. The driver of a Toyota Corolla was making a turn onto Crandon and collided with the scooter. Police issued a citation to the driver, who was not immediately identified. The child was wearing a helmet, Sousa said.
The Village has been struggling with a public safety response to the widespread usage of the battery-powered devices for the past two years. The Village Council banned powered usage within the confines of the island’s parks, but pulled back from proposals to ban the devices from Village roads and sidewalks — because of the fear of a spillover effect on Crandon, a County-controlled roadway where the Village has limited enforcement powers.
The fear: without the power to fully regulate the devices on Crandon, a ban would just push more riders into riding e-bikes on the busier main thoroughfare, raising the danger.
State Rep. Vicki Lopez had introduced legislation in the last session of the State Legislature to grant localities more power to regulate the devices, but she withdrew it when it became clear it stood little chance of passage, instead focusing on changes in policy at the County level.
Sousa said the Village has been working with Miami-Dade officials to gain legal jurisdiction over Crandon and recently held meetings with the County Attorney’s office, a process he said is moving forward.
In the meantime, he implored parents to take a more active role in discouraging use of e-bikes and e-scooters.
“We need assistance from the parents and everyone else,” Sousa said. “We have been very lucky. How does no one recognize the danger?”
Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.