Curbed Los Angeles — Santa Monica City Council voted Tuesday to create an emergency ordinance that would allow law enforcement officials to impound any Bird scooters or other “shared mobility devices” that pose an immediate hazard or obstruct access to public rights-of-way, says a city press release.
One big advantage of Bird scooters is that they don’t need to be locked in a certain place and can be left anywhere. However, city leaders say that often means they’re left in a way that poses safety hazards for other people.
Now, leaving a scooter lying across a sidewalk, blocking a doorway or driveway, or otherwise causing a tripping danger are potentially impoundable offenses, says city of Santa Monica spokesperson Joseph Vandenorth. Impounded scooters would also incur a $60 fee.
Vandenorth adds that the Santa Monica Police Department and Code Enforcement will be in charge of implementing the new ordinance.
The law is temporary—a stopgap intended to cut down on issues with the motorized scooters while city officials hammer out a more permanent ordinance.
“We want to see innovative companies like Bird successfully operate here,“ mayor Ted Winterer said. “This ordinance balances public access and safety concerns with the popularity of convenient and sustainable transit choices that align with Santa Monica’s multi-modal culture.”
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