A highly visible education campaign aimed to get electric scooters off the Strand yielded no tickets and no impounded scooters, despite the city’s stance the devices are illegal on the beach path. Rather, police stopped approximately 900 riders between Friday and Sunday, encouraging them to park the scooters on the curb and walk instead.
Rather than impounding the devices, Lt. Saul Rodriguez with the Santa Monica Police Department said about 300 electric scooters were “taken for safekeeping for vendors” Bird and Lime who picked them up from City Yards for free.
In March, the City Council approved an emergency ordinance to allow the city to collect a $60 impound fee for any “shared mobility device” that poses an immediate hazard or obstructs access to public space. In this case, however, Lt. Rodriguez said officers could not technically impound the vehicles.
The city has also added signage to the beach path warning riders that electric devices are not allowed on the path in Santa Monica.
Lt. Rodriguez said the enforcement campaign will extend to downtown Wednesday. California vehicle code requires a license and a helmet to ride the scooters and prohibits riding on the sidewalk. The ticket for not wearing a helmet is $190.