Shared electric scooters could be banned in the nation’s second-largest city until regulations are approved and permits are issued.
A motion by Los Angeles Councilman Paul Koretz would tell city officials to take all available measures to ban scooters in LA and issue cease-and-desist letters to scooter companies.
Koretz says in his district he’s seen hundreds of people riding scooters on sidewalks, without helmets and with more than one person aboard. The councilman says he’s concerned about risk of injury and lawsuits against the city.
“We have been in close contact with LA DOT and City council, and look forward to continuing to collaborate with local leaders as they further implement a regulatory framework for scooter and bike share,” said Lime Communications Manager Mary Caroline Pruitt. “We support regulations that prioritize rider safety, while allowing Lime to continue to serve the community with more affordable, equitable, and convenient transportation options.”
Beverly Hills recently imposed a six-month ban.
“The use of motorized scooters in Beverly Hills has dramatically increased in recent weeks with the Police Department issuing warnings and citations for riders not wearing helmets, driving on sidewalks in a business district or not possessing a valid driver’s license. Police have responded to several injury involved vehicle collisions involving motorized scooters. Police have also removed scooters from sidewalks and streets that obstructed the normal movement of traffic and created a hazard,” said a statement from the City of Beverly Hills.
In that city, the ordinance prohibits the devices from being placed in any public right-of-way or on public property, operated in any public-right-of-way or on public property, or being offered for use anywhere in the City. The Council did express an interest in working with the companies to develop future rules.
The City’s statement said the Council was concerned about public safety and the lack of outreach by the companies. The Beverly Hills Police will impound the devices and are issuing citations related to vehicle code violations resulting in fines.
Santa Monica instituted an emergency ordinance in March that allows the city to collect a $60 impound fee for any “shared mobility device” that poses an immediate hazard or obstructs access to public space. Police officers have also stepped up their work on the beach path to reduce illegal use of the scooters.
Santa Monica will institute a city-wide pilot program for the scooters in September. The program will attempt to cap the total number of devices in city limits at 3,500, with up to 1,000 e-bikes and up to 2,000 e-scooters at the launch, according to administrative guidelines posted online. The number of devices can be increased if the companies provide evidence they are frequently used. The pilot also sets fees, including a $20,000 annual operator fee plus $130 per device. Applications were due at the end of July with operator selection expected at the end of August.
City Hall said 13 companies submitted applications for the pilot program.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.