Many of those who are tired of sitting in Southern California traffic have turned to innovative vehicles called Bird scooters. Bird scooters are fairly new and have gained a huge following for those who want to get to their destination quickly without walking or driving.
While many Scooter users are singing their praises, Los Angeles residents are now faced with an increasing number of Bird Scooter accidents on city streets. The scooters suddenly started popping up in various Southern California cities and officials were unsure how to deal with this situation.
Beverly Hills recently opted to ban Bird scooters from its city due to the fact that users can park them wherever they please. The city and its police force is now tasked with removing the bikes from sidewalks where they obstruct pedestrians pathways.
The Beverly Hills Police Department has also been inundated with requests to remove scooters that have been abandoned in residents’ front yards, driveways, city sidewalks and business parking lots. To deal with this growing problem, Beverly Hills impounded more than 1,000 scooters in July 2018.
In response, Bird Rides filed a lawsuit on November 1, 2018, against Beverly Hills in an attempt to overturn the recent ban. The 41-page lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court. Should Bird Rides prevail, it will set the tone for the bans in other cities such as West Hollywood, Ventura and El Segundo.
The lawsuit claims that the ban infringes on the rights of Californians. Under California law, riders of motorized scooters have the same rights as those who drive cars and ride motorcycles and bicycles.
The lawsuit also mentions the Beverly Hills Police Department, which allegedly impounded 1,000 scooters and charged the company $100,000 to retrieve them. Bird Rides claims that the police department would not tell them where the scooters were parked and for how long.
Bird Rides is also claiming that Beverly Hills broke the state’s government laws. Agencies are required to publish agendas for meetings at least 72 hours in advance. The ban on Bird scooters was the topic of a public study session on July 24. It was then added to a city council meeting as an urgent item, so the public was not aware of it.
The city council then banned scooters for six months due to concern over public safety. There were also concerns that Bird and other companies did not coordinate or plan anything with the cities ahead of time.
Bird Rides’ chief legal officer also claims that the city is doing a disservice by taking away residents’ option to choose an environmentally-friendly mode of transportation. A recent survey showed that 20 percent of Bird scooter users were considering giving up their vehicle and using the scooters.