Officials Act to Respond to Safety Issues
Unless you’ve been living in a cave somewhere, you’ve seen them on the roads in California—electric “dockless” scooters, a new form of transportation open to anyone with a smart phone. Unlike prior versions of the public scooter, which had to be returned to the pickup location when the user was done, the dockless scooter can be left anywhere. The unanticipated explosion in the availability and use of these vehicles has caught most California municipalities unprepared and many are now responding with new ordinances and regulations, primarily designed to promote the safe use of the “bikes,” as many riders have been seen on sidewalks, driving without helmets and traveling at high rates of speed in neighborhoods.
On September 4, the Los Angeles City Council implemented a new set of regulations for dockless scooters, limiting the total number of such vehicles in the entire city to 3,000, with the specific exception of two areas where pilot programs will be conducted. Council members said that the cap could be increased if dockless scooter companies agree to operate in specific disadvantaged communities in LA and the San Fernando Valley. The council also established a 15-mph speed limit and imposed several requirements on scooter companies, including:
- Mandatory removal of all scooters blocking sidewalks
- A minimum of $5 million in commercial general liability insurance
- Regular maintenance to ensure the scooters are in good working condition
- A 24 hour hotline so that citizens can report scooters that are not in compliance with the laws
San Francisco was one of the first municipalities in California to introduce new regulations governing dockless scooters, establishing regulations in May, 2018. Santa Monica has enacted measures to deal with dockless scooters, establishing a 16-month pilot program and imposing a ceiling of 750 such scooters in the city. San Diego officials are also contemplating measures to address safety concerns.
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At Weber & Nierenberg, we bring more than three decades of experience to personal injury victims throughout California. Our experience helps us understand that every situation is unique. We’ll listen carefully to learn exactly what happened to you, so that we can prepare and present the most compelling arguments to get the outcome you want. Contact our office by e-mail or call 1-866-288-6010 to set up a free initial consultation with an experienced California motorcycle accident attorney.