Archives for August 2019

Electric Moped Usage Expected to Increase

Rental Programs Being Expanded Nationwide

Electric Moped Usage Expected to IncreaseIt may seem like electric scooters have taken over many American cities—companies such as Bird and Lime have seen phenomenal growth over the past few years. There’s another wave coming, though, say industry watchers and experts, as electric moped rental programs are becoming more available and more popular across the country. From Washington, D.C. to Atlanta, from San Francisco to Pittsburgh, it’s becoming easier and easier to rent, ride and drop off an electric moped. Users say they are often comparable to public transportation and typically cheaper than ride-share options such as Lyft and Uber.

The Difference between a Scooter and a Moped

One of the fundamental differences between a scooter and a moped involves the function of the motor. On a scooter, the motor is intended to provide all locomotion, whereas a moped acts more like a hybrid between a bicycle and a motorcycle. With a moped, the rider can still pedal and the motor augments pedaling. The laws governing (and even defining) electric mopeds vary from state to state. In California, for example, scooters and motorized bicycles don’t require a motorcycle-specific operating license and can be driven without being registered with the DMV. A moped, conversely, requires a specific motorcycle license (M1 or M2) and must be registered.

Thus far, electric moped sharing programs have not involved as much controversy as electric scooters. Advocates say that while scooters tend to be left just about anywhere, the mopeds typically must be left in designated motorcycle spots or street parking.

Contact the Proven Personal Injury Attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg

At the law offices of Weber & Nierenberg, we have helped injured people in California for over three decades, including people who have suffered needless injury in motorcycle and scooter mishaps. To set up a free initial consultation, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010.

San Diego Pair “Impounding” Abandoned Scooters

Scooter Companies File Suit Alleging Unlawful Taking

San Diego Pair Two San Diego men have formed a fledgling business on the heels of the current scooter craze. John Heinkel and Dan Borelli have formed a company called ScootScoop, which patrols the city streets in San Diego and other Southern California cities, using a flatbed truck to “impound” and tow away electric scooters they allege have been abandoned near hotels or on private property. According to Heinkel and Borelli, in a little over a year in business, they have “impounded” nearly 13,000 vehicles, writing a parking ticket for every scooter they seize. The men say they have offered to return the vehicles to the manufacturers—most of the impounded vehicles are from Bird and Lime, the top two players on the industry. Thus far, however, the scooter companies have declined to pay the return fee of $50 per vehicle.

Instead, Bird and Lime have filed a lawsuit in state court in California, alleging that ScootScoop has illegally taken the vehicles, calling the return fee a “ransom.” The companies claim that ScootScoop has frequently seized scooter that were “responsibly parked,” calling the business “a property theft scheme to generate income.” ScootScoop counters that California law allows for the impoundment of vehicles improperly parked on private property. Heinkel and Borelli say that, if the companies continue to refuse to pay the return fee, the scooters will be sold at a public auction.

Under a new law enacted earlier this year, San Diego now requires that electric scooters in the downtown area be parked only in certain areas designated as “corrals.” The owners of ScootScoop insist that they only impound scooters that have been parked in violation of state and city laws.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg for Experienced Motorcycle Accident Representation

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have more than 30 years of experience helping injured people in California, including victims of scooter or motorcycle accidents. We’ll listen carefully to learn the details of your accident, as well as your needs and concerns, so that we can tailor our representation to get the outcome you want. Contact our office online or call our office at 1-866-288-6010 for a free initial consultation.

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