On September 4, 2019, the Destin City Council directed staff to create an ordinance to ban commercial rental scooters within the city limits.
According to city documents, city staff has determined that motorized scooters within the City of Destin are a safety hazard, especially during peak seasons when the City’s roadways are heavily congested.
“If you’ve been out on Crystal Beach recently, you’ll see a lot of these smaller rental scooters,” said Parker Destin, legal/political correspondent. “You’ll see go-karts, the street-legal-but-low-speed-vehicles that are being rented out to tourists. It’s been identified a bit as a nuisance and safety hazard issue with the proliferation of how many of these are out there. On Old Highway 98, arguably probably not a big deal, but a lot of them end up getting on the main thoroughfares.”
According to Destin, there is a concern that as more scooter rental businesses come into the city that you’ll have more incidences involving people who are not familiar with these vehicles getting into accidents.
As stated in the ordinance, “the increased congestion has created greater and greater incentives for the operators of rented scooters to take short cuts through parking lots, on pedestrian sidewalks, on the pier board-walk, and generally through private or quasi-public property where through traffic of any kind is inappropriate, and frequently when those areas are occupied by pedestrians.“
“So from a safety standpoint, the council is starting to weigh-in on whether or not they want to see more of these businesses within the city of Destin,” continued Parker Destin.
If approved by the City Council after two readings of the ordinance, the ordinance would prohibit the provision, rental, solicitation of, or deliverance of a motor scooter within the City of Destin.
Previously, a Florida court of appeal upheld a similar ban imposed by Panama City Beach, and reasoned that a geographically small city has the right to restrict a business from operating within the City when the facts demonstrate that the restriction is for the safety of the city’s citizens and visitors.