In the aftermath of an accident involving a woman on an electric scooter in early January, city officials in Santa Monica have issued a statement, both reinforcing existing regulations and warning scooter operators about the potential risk involved with unlicensed scooter operators. City officials said they look forward to working with any new companies that enter the scooter rental business, but worry that some of them don’t have effective policies in place to protect riders.
The woman who was injured was apparently riding the scooter without a helmet, and sustained serious injury when she collided with a car. The company that leased the motor scooter to her has launched an application that allows people to pay for a scooter by the minute. Officials say the company had not obtained a valid business license and could not operate its vehicles on public roads.
The city’s statement re-emphasized existing laws that apply to motorized scooters in California:
- Anyone on a scooter must be wearing a helmet when the bike is moving
- A person cannot operate a scooter without a valid drivers license or without an instruction permit
- Passengers are not allowed on a motorized scooter
- Scooter operators may not ride on sidewalks at any time, only on the road
- A person may only operate a scooter at night if it has lights and visible reflectors
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