August 22, 2018 11:40 AM
SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Starting this week, a new public education campaign to equip electric scooter riders with the rules of the road will launch in Santa Monica and the Westside. Safe riding tips will be displayed on the Big Blue Bus, Metro buses, Expo Line trains and stations, light pole banners and parking structures in Santa Monica leading up to COAST, Santa Monica’s open streets event on October 7. The City is launching the safety messaging campaign in partnership with the two e-scooter companies currently operating in Santa Monica, Bird and Lime.
“Electric scooters are still a new part of Santa Monica’s mobility mix, and hundreds of new riders are using the devices every day,” said Deputy City Manager Anuj Gupta. “This dynamic campaign is about working in partnership with our current e-scooter operators to ensure new and existing riders know how to ride and park safely in the final stretch of the busy summer season.”
Safety messages focus on wearing a helmet; riding on the street, not the sidewalk; having a valid driver’s license; riding one person to a scooter; and where not to ride. These laws are enforced by the Santa Monica Police Department and violators may be ticketed.
This campaign, subsidized by legal and impound fees collected from e-scooter operators and earmarked for mobility education, is geared to do just that. The artwork aligns with the City of Santa Monica’s upcoming education campaign called “Take the Friendly Road” as part of a commitment to achieving Vision Zero, or zero roadway fatalities and serious injuries.
The two current e-scooter companies, operating with conditional vending permits, Bird and Lime, are amplifying Santa Monica’s local efforts by sharing the message regionally.
"Along with Lime, Santa Monica has been at the forefront of the scooter evolution, and we are pleased to join forces with the City to address the important topic of safe riding,” said Thomas Lord, Los Angeles General Manager at Lime. “Scooters, as a sustainable and flexible transportation solution, are transforming the way people get around Santa Monica and cities across the globe. But it only works if our collective communities lead the way in safe and responsible riding.”
"Santa Monica is the birthplace of the shared e-scooter phenomenon. It is also a leading innovator on providing diverse mobility options to the entire community that are supported by engaging consumer-facing education campaigns and programs,” said Tim Harter, Senior Manager of Government Relations at Bird. "We are honored to partner with the City on its e-scooter public education campaign as the safety of those in our community is of paramount importance.”
The e-scooter education campaign will run through October.
New drop zone locations for e-scooter and e-bike parking are also beginning to roll out this week, with plans to expand to different neighborhoods throughout Santa Monica. Drop zones are the preferred parking locations for mobility devices in order to reduce impacts on pedestrians and keep the public right-of-way accessible to all. Five drop zone locations are being implemented this week in Downtown, with more to follow in the weeks to come.
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Communications & Public Information Manager