If you have been frequenting Old Town Scottsdale or the Tempe Mill Avenue district, you may have noticed that over the last few years, transportation has changed a bit. Where cabs used to rule, many patrons are now turning to pedicabs and golf carts as a quick, convenient way to get from place to place, including bars, restaurants, and sporting events. Most drivers operate strictly for tip money, so for many, this has become the best way to enjoy a night on the town without the risk of a DUI.
Until recently, however, these modes of transportation were minimally regulated in Scottsdale, and just about anyone could operate a pedicab. Last January, this all changed after a horrific accident involving a pedicab and drunk driver ended in one of the pedicab’s passengers suffering a severe spinal injury, and one coping with the lifelong effects of a brain injury. The city of Scottsdale now faces a $51 million dollar lawsuit from the pedicab occupants, claiming that the city should have regulated the industry more closely.
What Was the Status Quo on Pedicab Regulation in the Valley?
Glendale was the first Valley city to regulate pedicabs, requiring a city-issued license since 2007. Glendale also limits the hours of operation and roadways that pedicabs can use. Phoenix followed suit in 2008, requiring pedicab operators to obtain inspections and inspection stickers from the Phoenix police department. Phoenix also requires each operator to carry at least $1 million in liability insurance.
Scottsdale now requires pedicab operators to have a valid Arizona driver’s license, liability insurance, and compliance with lighting and visibility for each pedicab. Inspections have not been made mandatory, but operators will be subject to fines for noncompliance.
Golf Carts Can Be a Problem, Too
Golf carts have always operated under a stricter set of guidelines, but accidents and injuries—namely from people falling off of the cart—have become fairly common. Golf carts must be insured, inspected, and have front seatbelts, and are restricted to roadways that have a posted speed limit of 35 mph or lower.
While it can be challenging determining whether the cart or pedicab transporting you is up to code, a quick look at the following can tell you a lot:
- Is the vehicle properly lit, and visible to other cars?
- Has the operator loaded it within safe capacity?
- Does the vehicle appear to be in good condition?
Use caution during the holidays and upcoming events in the Valley when choosing your transportation to and from bars, parties, and other locations. If you have been hurt in an accident involving these vehicles, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries. For more information, contact our Phoenix personal injury attorneys today by calling our office or filling out the online contact form.