Omaha is going about the introduction of electric scooters the right way, through a six-month trial in cooperation with the two participating companies.
The devices could make an appearance as early as Wednesday in Omaha if the City Council votes, as expected, to approve the pilot project today.
Education and responsible use will be vital all around, for scooter users and vehicle drivers alike. The scooters will be limited to streets, not sidewalks, and only to streets with a speed limit no higher than 35 mph.
Proper disposal of the rented scooters is a particular need. The participating companies, Lime and Spin, which have commendably cooperated with city departments on a range of issues, say software will instruct riders on proper drop-off procedures.
Cities such as Austin, Texas, and Nashville, Tennessee, report a significant number of scooter-rider injuries, especially head injuries. In studying the trial, Omaha leaders need to give thought about encouraging or requiring helmets for the long term.
If the council approves, this will need to be a learning experience for all — scooter users, vehicle drivers, the general public and city officials.