ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ALLIANCE
NEWS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Disability Advocates to Present Today at Virtual Meeting of Toronto’s Infrastructure Committee to Oppose Allowing Electric Scooters
April 28, 2021 Toronto: Today starting at 9:30 am, the City of Toronto’s Infrastructure and Environment Committee will consider if the City should allow electric scooters (e-scooters) in Toronto. The AODA Alliance and other disability advocates are scheduled to make deputations to the Committee. The Committee meeting will be live-streamed at: http://www.youtube.com/torontocitycouncillive
City staff and Toronto’s Accessibility Advisory Committee have made strong recommendations to City Council against allowing e-scooters in Toronto, and against conducting a pilot project. In the same direction, disability advocates will tell the Committee that Mayor Tory and City Council must not unleash dangerous electric scooters in Toronto (now banned, unless Council legalizes them).
A City Staff Report amply shows e-scooters endanger public safety in places allowing them. Riders and innocent pedestrians get seriously injured or killed. They especially endanger seniors and people with disabilities. Blind people can’t know silent e-scooters rocket at them at over 20 KPH, driven by unlicensed, untrained, uninsured, unhelmetted fun-seeking riders. Left strewn on sidewalks, e-scooters are tripping hazards for blind people and accessibility nightmares for wheelchair users.
Toronto has been getting less accessible to people with disabilities. Allowing e-scooters would make that worse.
It accomplishes nothing to just ban e-scooters from sidewalks. The City Staff Report documents the silent menace of e-scooters continue to be ridden on sidewalks in cities that just ban them from sidewalks. We’d need cops on every block. Toronto law enforcement told City Councilors last July 9 that they have no capacity to enforce such new e-scooter rules.
E-scooters would cost taxpayers lots e.g., for new law enforcement, OHIP for treating those injured by e-scooters, and law suits by the injured. Toronto has more pressing budget priorities.
City Council should not conduct an e-scooter pilot. A pilot to study what? How many innocent people will be injured? We already know they will, from cities that allowed them. Torontonians should not be subjected to such a human experiment, especially without the consent of those at risk of being injured.
The AODA Alliance exposed the stunning well-funded behind-the-scenes feeding frenzy of back-room pressure that corporate lobbyists for e-scooter rental companies have inundated City Hall with for months. “The corporate lobbyists want to make money on e-scooter rentals, laughing all the way to the bank as injured pedestrians sob all the way to hospital,” said AODA Alliance Chair David Lepofsky. “We call on Mayor Tory and City Council to stand up for people with disabilities,, and to stand up to the e-scooter corporate lobbyists.”
For more background, check out the AODA Alliance’s March 30, 2021 brief to the City of Toronto on e-scooters, the AODA Alliance video on why e-scooters are so dangerous (which media can use in any reports), and the AODA Alliance e-scooters web page.