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E-Scooters Demoed In Boston As Lawmakers Figure Out Rules Of The Road

BOSTON (CBS) - As the weather turns nice, state lawmakers are racing to figure out the rules of the road for electric, battery-powered scooters.

Despite the launch of an e-scooter pilot program in Brookline earlier this month, the Chair of the legislature's joint committee on transportation, Rep. Bill Straus says, the devices are unregulated.

"There's no clear definition of what these are or whether they can legally operate," Straus said.

A Lime scooter. (WBZ-TV)

On Wednesday, e-scooter company, Lime, held a demo of the scooters at Boston City Hall Plaza, with the goal of rolling them out all over Boston by June.

"It's a new mode of transportation that will alleviate congestion, and that will allow people to get from A to B more reliably and more affordably," Lime's Northeast General Manager Hachem Alaoui Soce said.

A Lime scooter demonstration on City Hall Plaza. (WBZ-TV)

Straus says, there need to be some regulations to keep the scooters safe.

"A speed limit that is consistent because people will travel over town and city lines," Straus said. "Should they have night lights? Should they have reflectors? Should they have turning indicators?"

Straus says he would like to have the rules mapped out within two to three months.

WBZ-TV's Mike LaCrosse reports

Brookline Police say they've had 25 incidents involving scooters since the launch. They range from reports of underage kids riding, to people wondering why they're left on the sidewalk.

A lot of scooters end up on the Brookline town line because they're not allowed into the city of Boston. Boston transportation officials say they have no plans of starting a pilot program.

"There is still a long way to go before any potential of having scooters on the streets of Boston," Mayor Marty Walsh said.

Mayor Walsh says the Lime demo Wednesday was not an endorsement and that the company applied for a one day permit.

"We have a program called Vision Zero that we're trying to get to zero fatalities on our streets with bicyclist and pedestrians and I just get concerned if adding this component to what does that do to that program," Walsh said.

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