Happy Veterans Day 2019

Happy Veterans Day 2019

“Honoring the sacrifices many have made for our country in the name of freedom and democracy is the very foundation of Veterans Day.” – Charles B. Rangel

Things You Want to Know before Joining a Motorcycle Club

Questions to Ask When Considering a Biker Group

Things You Want to Know before Joining a Motorcycle ClubYou just started riding a motorcycle or you’ve been an avid biker for some time, but you’ve decided a biker group might offer some benefits—camaraderie, improved skills, a social network. You’ve looked around and are ready to learn more about some groups, so that you can find the one that’s right for you. Here are some questions to ask before you make a commitment:

  • What are the requirements to become a full member with all privileges?—Different groups take different approaches. For many purely social clubs, you can immediately become a full member by paying your dues. Some clubs may, however, require that you go through a period of probation, often waiting months or years before you can get a patch.
  • What’s the ratio of male to female riders? Many clubs are segregated by gender, but mostclubs are predominantly male.
  • Can I go through the whole process and still be denied a membership? Many clubs have specific stages and criteria that must be met to become a member, but still reserve the right to deny you a membership based on a vote of the club.
  • Are you a riding club or a motorcycle club? A riding club is just what the name suggests—a group of people who get together almost exclusively to get on the road. Motorcycle clubs often sponsor rides, but are typically involved in a wide range of activities, including fundraisers, social events, picnics and educational programs.
  • What are your rules? Just about every club has its own set of rules. You want to know what they are before you join. If the club won’t share them with you, you don’t want to bea member.

Contact the Experienced Attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have fought for the rights of injured people in California for more than 30 years, including men and women injured in motorcycle and scooter wrecks. To set up a free initial consultation, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010.

The Benefits of Joining a Motorcycle Club

Reasons for Looking into a Local Motorcycle Group

The Benefits of Joining a Motorcycle ClubThough motorcycle groups have a bad reputation, it’s like most things—it’s the exception to the rule that gets most of the publicity. Most authorities believe that the criminal motorcycle gangs account for about 1% of all organized biker groups. Far more common are clubs that bring diverse members of a community together for organized rides, events and interaction.

Here are some of the benefits you can get from a motorcycle club:

  • Increased skills on your bike—It’s like anything…when you hang around with people whoare good at what they do, it can rub off on you. If you’re a bit of a novice, you can quickly develop skills tagging along with veteran riders. Many clubs have regular skills training and workshops. At a minimum, you’ll probably put more time in on your bike, and that almost always makes you a better rider.
  • Share your passion in a structured environment—It’s pretty much a given that most motorcyclists are rugged individualists. That can often make it difficult to find a sense of community when you need it. In addition, that “lone rider” mentality can make it hard tomake a difference in your community and the world. With a bike club, you get the structure you need to create opportunities for harmonious gatherings, a place where you can really feel like you belong.
  • Camaraderie—All those values that mean a lot to you—trust, respect, loyalty, community—they’re at the heart of a motorcycle club. Your fellow club members will be like family.

Contact the Experienced Attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we offer decades of experience to people in California who have suffered any type of personal injury, including motorcycle accident victims. We’ll learn the details of your accident, as well as your needs and concerns, so that we can take the right steps to get the outcome you need. Contact our office online or call our office at 1-866-288-6010 for a free initial consultation.

Statistics Show Increase in Scooter Injuries

Many Mishaps Tied to Use of Alcohol or Drugs

Statistics Show Increase in Scooter InjuriesData gathered from three Southern California trauma centers indicates that, as electric scooters have escalated in popularity over the past couple years, so have the number of injuries sustained by operators and riders. In a study published in the journal Trauma Surgery and Acute Care Open, researchers found that most of the victims were male and that more than half tested positive for blood alcohol or other controlled substances, including THC and methamphetamines. Officials say 79% of the victims in the study were tested for blood alcohol, with 48% showing a blood alcohol content (BAC) of more than .08 percent, the legal limit in most states. Approximately 60 percent of the injured scooter users were tested for drugs, with 52% found to have controlled substances in their bloodstream.

The most common types of injuries suffered were broken bones and head trauma. Of those victims included in the study, 98% were not wearing helmets at the time of the crash. The average hospital stay for the scooter injury victims was three days and about one in three required some type of surgical procedure. Though no one died, eight patients spent time in intensive care and six required long-term acute care.

Police and prosecutors in some California cities have started applying the DWI/DUI laws to electric scooter operators. As early as September, 2018, a man in Los Angeles was convicted for driving a scooter while under the influence. The 28-year-old man apparently knocked down a pedestrian while drunk and fled to a nearby apartment building without giving aid. When officers arrested him, the defendant had a blood alcohol content more than three times the legal limit. He was convicted of a misdemeanor.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

At the law offices of Weber & Nierenberg, we have aggressively protected the rights of injured people in California for more than 30 years, including people who have been hurt in motorcycle and scooter accidents. To set up a free initial consultation, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010.

Los Angeles Police See Dramatic Increase in Scooter Citations

Number of Tickets Up Nearly 2000%

Los Angeles Police See Dramatic Increase in Scooter CitationsMotorized scooters have become a part of life across California, and police officers in most cities, including Los Angeles, are taking a more aggressive approach to protect the safety of citizens. L.A. officials say that, during the first six months of 2019, officers have issued more than 800 citations to scooter operators, ticketing them for more than 900 different infractions. Officers wrote 249 tickets in June alone, compared to just 13 during the same time period last year. In fact, more than 500 tickets have been given since May 1, 2019.

City officials note that about two of every three citations were for illegally operating a scooter on a sidewalk. Paul Koretz, a Los Angeles city councilman, acknowledged that the city government has been concerned about the safety of citizens. He called riding on sidewalks “the most dangerous violation” committed by scooter operators and said, “If you are riding a scooter on a sidewalk, you will get a ticket.”

According to California law, scooter operators may not be on sidewalks under any circumstances. They may ride in the street if the speed limit is 25 miles per hour or slower, and can always use the bicycle lanes.

The city cited data collected by the Los Angeles Fire Department showing that, in accidents involving scooter riders, the scooter operator was at fault more than half of the time. The LAFD has reported more than 160 accidents thus far in 2019 involving electric scooters, including approximately 60 incidents where at least one person was taken to the hospital.

If you are cited for riding on the sidewalk, you can expect to fine of $197, in addition to court costs and other processing fees.

Officials say the major scooter companies, such as Bird and Lime, have put stickers on all their vehicles advising riders not to ride on sidewalks, but the measure has done little to change actual practices.

Contact the Experienced Attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we bring more than three decades of experience to injured people in California, including persons hurt in scooter or motorcycle accidents. We’ll learn what happened to you, as well as your needs and concerns, so that we can take the right steps to get the solution you need. Contact our office online or call our office at 1-866-288-6010 for a free initial consultation.

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.

Scooter Backlash—Increased Use Leads to Increased Complaints

Fatalities and Serious Injury Lead to Public Outcry

Scooter BacklashIf you’ve been in just about any major city in the last year, you’ve seen the onslaught of e-scooters, the new darlings of the “micro-mobility” industry. Experts estimate that as many as 85,000 such scooters are used every day across the United States. They can offer an easy way to get from one place to another, but they have been governed by a patchwork quilt of local regulations thus far. As injury and death tolls mount—a 2017 study found more than 1,500 injuries and 8 fatalities, a number that has increased dramatically in the last year—there’s been a bit of a backlash from consumers, who are asking government officials to take steps to protect public safety. In Oregon, some have even dumped the vehicles in the local river!

The e-scooters have many positive attributes:

  • They don’t use gasoline or carbon-based fuels
  • Payment is easy—typically done through an app on your phone
  • They travel four times as fast as you can travel on foot

Unfortunately, because of the way they are rented, it’s difficult to enforce measures that would improve the safety of both riders and others. For example, as a general rule, an e-scooter operator is supposed to be at least 18, wear a helmet, have a valid driver’s license and travel alone. There’s really no one to monitor these requirements, though, so the scooters are frequently taken by unlicensed individuals or by minors, and the operators often ride without any protective gear. In addition, many try to put more than one person on the scooter, which can make it extremely difficult to control. They have also been used like skateboards by some riders, who try to take them over curbs and do other stunts.

Another significant problem—many e-scooter riders don’t want to be on the roads (they can’t go more than 15 mph), so they ride on the sidewalks. That can constitute a hazard for the scooter operator and the pedestrian.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have helped injured people in California for more than 30 years, including people who have been hurt in motorcycle and scooter accidents. To set up a free initial consultation, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010.

California Legislature Still Debating E-Scooter Regulations

New Law Not Expected until 2020

E-Scooter Regulations The California Assembly has put two different bills aimed at regulating the so-called “micro-mobility” industry on hold until at least next January, as legislators gather more information about potential concerns and options. Assembly Bill 1112 and Assembly Bill 1286 are both “in a holding pattern,” according to one of the authors of AB 1112, assembly-woman Laura Friedman.

AB 1112 gives California municipalities the authority to prohibit the use of e-scooters if they can demonstrate legitimate concerns about potential violation of the California Environmental Quality Act. As recently as two months ago, an earlier version of the same bill would have banned cities from taking such action. The current version of the bill gives cities the right to establish maximum numbers of e-scooters, charge and collect fees from vendors, and even mandate that operators make scooters available in certain neighborhoods.

Acknowledging that there’s not enough information to make a good decision now, the California Senate Government and Finance Committee has called for at least two “informational” hearings this fall, where more can be learned about issues such as liability, data collection, and shared mobility.

Currently, the use of e-scooters is governed on a municipal level, with a wide array of regulatory measures in place. Many such regulations already contain provisions similar to those in the proposed state-wide legislation, including caps on fleet sizes, access in disadvantaged neighborhoods, and data collection.

Much of the debate in the California legislature has centered on the data issues. Most municipalities that already have e-scooter regulations require real-time sharing of data about scooter locations, maintenance and other issues. E-scooter companies say some of those requirements pose potential legal concerns about right to privacy.

Contact Our Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyers

At Weber & Nierenberg, we bring more than three decades of experience to injured people in California, including people hurt in scooter or motorcycle accidents. We’ll listen carefully to learn exactly what happened to you, including your needs and concerns, so that we can customize our counsel to get the outcome you seek. Contact us online or call our office at 1-866-288-6010 for a free initial consultation.

New Scooter Laws in Effect in California

New Scooter LawsThe California legislature has enacted new laws governing the use and operation of scooters on the state’s roadways. Among the most controversial provisions—the new law does not require adults riding scooters on streets or bike paths to wear helmets. Minors must still wear headgear and motorcyclists are also required to wear helmets.

Officials at Bird, the scooter company that helped sponsor the legislation, said that prior laws that required helmets for adults discouraged scooter use, as adults did not want to tote a helmet around to be able to ride a scooter. Those who favored the helmet requirements of the prior law expressed befuddlement, arguing that motorcyclists on the same streets must have helmets. They also expressed concerns that the new laws will encourage scooter use on roads with more traffic and higher speed limits, making helmets even more important.

Under the new statute:

  • A rider must be at least 18 to ride without a helmet
  • Scooters can be operated in class II or class IV bike paths, but at speeds no higher than 15 mph
  • Scooters may be operated on streets with speed limits up to 25 mph, but at speeds no higher than 15 mph
  • Scooters may be operated on streets with speed limits up to 35 mph (but only if local authorities enact ordinances permitting it), but only at speeds up to 15 mph

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have more than 30 years of experience helping people in California who have been hurt in motorcycle accidents. We understand the devastating impact a personal injury can have on every area of your life. We’ll take the time to learn exactly what happened and what you need to move forward with your life. To set up a meeting, contact Weber & Nierenberg by e-mail or call us at 1-866-288-6010. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation.

 
 
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