California Cities Address Concerns about Dockless Scooters

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.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg—Experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

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.

SF City Attorney Puts Brakes on Scooter Sharing Programs

SF City Attorney Puts Brakes on Scooter Sharing ProgramsFor the earlier part of 2018, it wasn’t unusual to walk the streets of San Francisco and see motor scooter around just about every corner. It was the result of an Uber-like application, where riders could use their phone to rent a scooter, and then could leave it wherever they were when they were done. Among the companies offering the two-wheeled vehicles were Bird, Lime and Spin. Representatives of the companies say they offer a wide range of benefits to the city, reducing traffic and pollution. Many consumers expressed appreciation for the convenience the scooters offer, as well as the ease of operating them.

But San Francisco city officials had another perspective on the scooter issue. Many in city government found them to be a nuisance, saying that they often blocked sidewalks and curbs, and that there were broken scooter strewn across the city. Citing concerns for safety of riders and pedestrians, the city attorney issued a cease and desist order on Monday, April 16. The order came after city workers seized 66 scooters on Friday, April 13, contending that the motorized vehicles were impeding traffic.

City official said that, in addition to littering the landscape, the scooters posed other dangers—many riders were observed riding on sidewalks, exceeding the speed limit or riding without a helmet.

Contact the Law Office of Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have protected the rights of motorcyclists for more than 30 years. We built our practice on a dedication to the highest levels of personal service and attention. We’ll take the time to learn exactly what happened to you, so that we focus our representation to get the results you want. When you retain our offices after a motorcycle accident injury, you’ll work directly with one of our partners at all times.

For an appointment with an experienced California motorcycle accident injury attorney, contact Weber & Nierenberg by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010. Your first meeting is without cost or obligation.

Common Causes of Scooter Accidents

Scooter down in the street

With the advances in technology and construction, scooters have become a viable option for commuters and others as a reliable and cost-effective means of transportation. You can get a good scooter for less than a couple thousand dollars and you can typically get upwards of 65-75 miles per gallon. They have more get up and go than a moped, so they’re great for getting around town, and it’s easy to find a place to park them.

But if you opt for a scooter as your mode of transportation, you need to take proactive measures to minimize the risk of injury in an accident. With a scooter, as with a motorcycle, there’s little to protect you if you lose control or are involved in a collision.

The Principle Causes of Scooter Accidents

Similar to motorcycles, the primary cause of accidents involving scooters is the failure of other motorists to pay necessary attention. As a result, the majority of scooter accidents involve collisions with other motor vehicles:

  • Head on collisions where a motorist either turns into the path of a scooter or fails to yield to the right of way of a scooter operator
  • Sideswipes where a motorist changes lanes without looking or observing a scooter
  • Left-turn or right-turn accidents where a motor vehicle operator fails to observe right of way

There are also situations where you can risk serious injury without a collision with another vehicle. Because a scooter is lighter, you can be more easily affected by potholes, dead animals or other debris on the roadway, loose gravel or dirt or uneven pavement.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, our attorneys have protected the rights of injured people in the San Francisco Bay area for more than three decades, including persons hurt in motorcycle and scooter accidents. We understand that every situation is unique, so we’ll take the time to carefully investigate your case and tailor our representation to meet your needs. With Weber & Nierenberg, you’ll have access to a partner at all times.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg by e-mail or call our office at 1-866-288-6010 to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced California personal injury lawyer.

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