A brand new type of electric scooter is popping up in various cities throughout the country, including a few in California and they are causing quite the uproar for lawmakers and law enforcement. The scooters simply appear overnight in what’s being described as ‘nests’ since these transportation devices are being referred to as Bird scooters. These scooters have shown up in Austin, Miami, and now San Francisco. The company is being compared to Uber, which when it first got started simply just showed up and began operating in cities around the country. Our Los Angeles product liability attorney will discuss the issues surrounding the Bird Scooters in today’s post.
According to multiple news reports, the ‘nests’ are created in cities with no advance notice to the governing boards or law enforcement agencies of those cities. The company is headquartered in Venice, California and its main competitors are Spin and Lime. The company has built a reputation of acting on its plans first and then asking for forgiveness from local authorities and governing bodies.
Even though this method has worked in larger cities like San Francisco it is being met with harsh criticism in others. Many cities have laws enacted against the use of these type of electric scooters on sidewalks due to safety issues. Some places have ordinances on the books that require vendors like Bird Scooters to acquire a permit before operating.
The company announced back on August 16, 2018 that it would be introducing the scooters to students and educators at close to 150 universities in the United States over the next six-plus weeks. The company said that the scooters are free of carbon and are low-cost. The goal of the company with these scooters is to address gaps in transportation in cities. The scooters were built to help people get from point A to point B when it’s too far to walk and too short to drive while also eliminating parking concerns and pollution.
It seems as though these Bird Scooters are causing more of a nuisance than help for the cities and universities where they have appeared. Since many places don’t allow scooters to be ridden on the sidewalk they have to be in the street. This can be a big problem because many cities only allow electric scooters in the road if it is on a road with a posted speed limit of less than 35 MPH.
Then you have to deal with the scooters being left behind. That’s right; once a user is done with the scooter they rented it is simply left behind on the sidewalk, which also might be against many city ordinances in California. So far police have been issuing warnings regarding the scooters.
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