WashU conducted a review that found increased evidence of the dangers of operating motorized devices like electric scooters based on data from the WashU Police Department and the Washington University Medical Center, among other sources.
In an effort to support the safety of the Washington University in St. Louis community, electronic scooters, motorized skateboards, hoverboards and other motorized transportation devices will no longer be permitted on Danforth Campus sidewalks, pathways as well as Wrighton Way and Hoyt Drive.
The new policy aligns with many universities and cities, which have already prohibited the use of e-scooters due to safety concerns. For instance, the City of St. Louis Ordinance 65138 bans the use of electric scooters on sidewalks, requires users to wear a helmet, and prohibits the use of a scooter by more than one person, among other regulations. The City of St. Louis can issue a $500 fine for anyone found guilty of a violation of the provisions of the ordinance. Learn more about the ordinance.
Under the new WashU policy, we will be able to better ensure the safety of not only the riders but also protect the safety of all our students, faculty, staff and visitors while walking on campus.
While e-scooters and other motorized transportation devices are permitted for use on Wallace, Shepley, Snow Way and Throop Drives, they are not permitted anywhere else on the Danforth Campus. This does not affect the operation of electric wheelchairs or other assisted devices.
Those who are able to switch to a manual mode, using the device as a kick/push scooter without the use of the motor, will be able to continue to ride throughout campus. Because this is not a standard feature on most electric scooters, WashU encourages these users to first review their owner manuals to protect their device from potential damage.
When riding an electric scooter or similar motorized device, we ask that you follow the rules and regulations on public streets, walkways and campus property (where permitted) as well as outside of WashU.
Rules & Regulations
When operating a motorized transportation device, you must obey all the following regulations:
- Always wear a properly fitted and fastened helmet.
- Follow all the traffic rules applicable to a driver of a motor vehicle, including traffic lights, signs and ride with the direction of traffic.
- Yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and give an audible signal before passing a pedestrian or cyclist.
- Do not use earbuds or headphones on/in both ears.
- Individuals cannot ride at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the existing conditions.
- A device cannot be operated with more than one person on it.
- When riding on a street in the dark or dusk, an electric scooter must have a visible front-facing white light, rear-facing red reflector or red light, and reflective material and/or lights on each side.
Please be aware of your surroundings. Uneven pavement, potholes and unexpected items can cause you to lose control of the device and it may be harder for vehicles to see you.
Parking a Motorized Transportation Device
An electric scooter must be parked upright at or near a bike rack and may never be left on its side. It is prohibited to park these devices on sidewalks, pathways, ramps, stairs or anywhere that could obstruct pedestrian or vehicular traffic or access for those with a disability.
All other smaller motorized transportation devices, including hoverboards and electric skateboards, must be parked in a manner that do not pose a tripping hazard, impede pedestrian traffic or block access for those with a disability.
Any unattended device that presents a safety hazard or impedes pedestrian traffic will be impounded immediately without notice. WashU is not responsible for damage to the device that occurs during impoundment and has no responsibility or liability to replace or make compensation for such items.
Registration serves as a theft deterrent as well as allows the University to assist in the recovery of lost or stolen property, contact owners of impounded devices, and better manage our facilities. All personally-owned electric scooters must be registered with WashU by visiting project529.com/washu.
Charging a Device
Due to fire and electrical safety hazards, motorized transportation devices cannot be charged on university property, including academic buildings and residence halls, unless charging areas have been approved in writing by Facilities, Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S), and the Insurance Office.
Consequences Of Non-compliance With University Policy
Disciplinary actions for violations will be tailored to each constituency within the university and be based on the severity and frequency of the violation(s). Parking & Transportation will refer non-compliant university-affiliated individuals to the appropriate office for follow-up, which can result in disciplinary action.
- Faculty and staff who refuse to comply with the policy will have their managers notified.
- Students will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. Please refer to section III of the Student Conduct Code for potential offenses and section VI for potential disciplinary actions.
- Contractors, consultants and vendors will be referred to the appropriate contact.
- Visitors who refuse to cooperate will be asked to leave Campus.