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Muratsuchi Bill Would Adopt Scooter Safety Rules

E-scooters parked on Judge John Aiso Street in Little Tokyo. (Photo by Nancy Uyemura)

Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi’s (D-Torrance) Assembly Bill 1286, which would require cities and counties to adopt safety rules before e-scooter and other shared mobility service providers offer any device for rent or use, passed the Assembly floor on Monday.

The bill would also require the service providers to provide minimum insurance to protect riders as well as pedestrians and others in the event of an injury.

“E-scooters and other shared mobility devices can be fun, affordable, and eco-friendly ways to get around,” said Muratsuchi.  “However, like any new innovation, we need to make sure it is safe both for users and for pedestrians, with basic consumer protections.

“This bill would protect consumers of these services as well as the general public by requiring cities and counties to adopt basic safety rules, as well as providing for consumer protections that would protect users and third parties in the event of an injury.”

E-scooters and other shared mobility devices have been appearing in many California cities. However, public safety considerations for both users and the general public have not been fully addressed. In recent months, four scooter riders across the country have been killed, including one in San Diego.

The Journal of the American Medical Association last month published a study that reported 249 scooter riders were treated for injuries in just two Southern California emergency rooms last year. Of those injured, 96 percent were riders, 40 percent suffered head injuries, and only 5.7 percent wore helmets.

Riders also often drive and leave these devices on sidewalks and other public spaces, creating a hazard particularly for the elderly and people with disabilities.

Muratsuchi, the assistant majority leader for policy and research, represents the 66th Assembly District, which includes El Camino Village, Gardena, Harbor City, Harbor Gateway, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Torrance, and West Carson. He is the chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Aerospace, and is a member of the committees on Budget; Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials; Natural Resources; Utilities and Energy; and Veterans Affairs.

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