Scottsdale is reviewing regulations and oversight of golf carts and pedicabs which are touted as a cheap and entertaining alternative to taxis and cars for Old Town Scottsdale bar customers. However, recent accidents pose questions about safety and regulation and underline the size differential between this mode of transportation and larger vehicles that may be operated by an impaired driver.
In January 2013, a 21-year-old visitor from Kansas suffered a serious brain injury after being ejected from a pedicab when it was rear-ended by a vehicle on Scottsdale Road. Another passenger was also seriously injured. The driver of the vehicle which struck the pedicab pled guilty to endangerment and aggravated assault and was sentenced to four years in prison.
Police also claim that the driver was impaired but the charge was dropped as part of the plea agreement. The two victims filed a civil suit earlier this year against Scottsdale for $51 million in damages and alleged that the city was negligent for permitting pedicabs to operate on city streets without restrictions. At the time of the accident, there were no regulations governing the operation of pedicabs because the vehicles are not a motorized, street-legal vehicle.
In response to this accident, Scottsdale City Council adopted an ordinance in 2013 requiring pedicab operators to have a valid Arizona driver’s license, keep insurance and to comply with safety and visibility regulations. The Association to Preserve Downtown Scottsdale’s Quality of Life is also seeking rules for any vehicle that transports passengers around the bar district, requiring rear-seat belts and restricting golf-cart cabs from operating on the busiest roads.
Victims of an accident involving a motor vehicle of any kind causing traumatic brain injury or other similar injuries may be entitled to accident compensation for medical expenses and other losses. Representation can help determine liability and protect rights.
Source: The Arizona Republic, “Pedicabs, golf carts raise questions in Scottsdale,” Megan Cassidy, July 5, 2014