Safety Tips for Using a Motorized Scooter

January 11, 2018
by Anuj Gupta

Safety Tips for Using a Motorized Scooter

Santa Monica has long been a leader in providing alternate modes of mobility and we’re deeply committed to enhancing mobility, easing traffic congestion, and reducing emissions. We were the first to launch bike share in the region and made big investments to connect Expo Light Rail with our bike paths and Big Blue Bus routes. Santa Monica wants to be a place where innovators come to test new solutions to sustainable living, and the City is eager to partner with companies looking to advance their ideas.

Unfortunately, Bird Rides, Inc., the company behind the app-based electric motorized scooters for rent around town, does not have a business license to operate on the public rights-of-way, and currently operates in a manner that places riders and residents at risk. Just this week, a rider of a motorized scooter not wearing a helmet suffered a serious injury after colliding with a car on one of our streets.

If new mobility companies are prepared to operate safely and within the bounds of both state and local laws, the City is ready to work with them to bring their operations into full compliance with permitting and use of public space requirements. 

As a motorized scooter rider, we wanted to make sure you were aware of these key state safety laws (Calif. Vehicle Code Sections. 21223 and 21235):

  • You can only ride if you have a valid driver’s license or instruction permit.
  • Wearing a helmet is required for all ages.
  • You must ride by yourself, and not with any passengers.
  • You must ride on the road, never on the sidewalk.
  • You may not park on the sidewalk in the way of pedestrian traffic.
  • You must not ride at night unless the motorized scooter is equipped with proper lighting equipment, including a front light source which is visible from the front and sides, and reflectors.

If these requirements are news to you, your friends may not know either - please help us keep everyone safe and spread the word within your networks.

The City will have more information to share in the near future. In the meantime, please stay engaged with us by signing up for the City's newsletter SaMoNews where we share news, events and opportunities about Santa Monica.

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