Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica | Can cities ban e-scooters in the name of public safety? Bird says no way

Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica |

Upright on two wheels —

Startup dubs swift July vote on prohibition: “a hasty and deceptive proceeding.”


Hexbyte - Tech News - Ars Technica | People ride shared electric scooters in Santa Monica, California, on July 13, 2018.
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People ride shared electric scooters in Santa Monica, California, on July 13, 2018.

The transportation startup Bird has

sued

the city of Beverly Hills over its temporary, six-month e-scooter ban. The suit argues that state law, which explicitly allows for “

motorized scooters

,” actually preempts any municipal prohibitions.

The lawsuit, Bird Rides v. City of Beverly Hills, was filed Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court. The civil complaint argues that the city’s July 24, 2018, city council meeting—where the ban was quickly approved—was a “hasty and deceptive proceeding.”

Worse still, the company alleges, city police have “embarked on a campaign of indiscriminate seizure, snatching up Bird’s property anywhere officers spot a scooter.” Bird claims that it has received over 950 citations and demands to pay over $100,000 in fines. The company also says that the city hasn’t provided proper documentation and justification for those seizures.

The case was first reported Thursday by the Los Angeles Times.

In the wake of the July 24 meeting, Beverly Hills issued a press release in which it described a “concern for public safety and a lack of any advanced planning and outreach by the motorized scooter companies as the primary reasons for the new ordinance.”

Cities across the country have been trying to deal with the sudden influx of the dockless devices, which have proliferated with incredible speed.

On Thursday, roughly 400 miles to the north of Beverly Hills, the Oakland city council passed a new “fee schedule” which will dictate how much scooter companies have to pay to operate in the city. The city council is expected to vote on a final measure in the coming weeks.

Bird, which was founded in nearby Santa Monica just last year, has since expanded to numerous metropolises across the Golden State as well as cities in Oregon, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Missouri, and more. Similarly, its primary competitor, Lime, also exists in many l

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