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LAPD Launches Task Force To Crack Down On Scooters

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – As e-scooters have become more prevalent in neighborhoods across the Southland, they have also created a myriad of problems and prompted numerous complaints.

The Los Angeles Police Department hopes to better address those problems with the launch of an e-scooter enforcement task force Thursday whose primary goal is to ensure that e-scooter riders are following the law.

A couple rides a shared electric scooter in Santa Monica, California, on July 13, 2018. - Cities across the U.S. are grappling with the growing trend of electric scooters which users can unlock with a smartphone app. Scooter startups including Bird and Lime allow riders to park them anywhere that doesn't block pedestrian walkways but residents in some cities, including Los Angeles, say they often litter sidewalks and can pose a danger to pedestrians. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

The task force will focus on issues such as ensuring scooter riders stay off sidewalks and don't carelessly abandon their scooters in the middle of sidewalks when they're done with their ride. Police will also make sure scooter riders don't carry any passengers and don't ride in a bike lane unless the speed limit is at least 25 miles per hour.

Riders must also have a driver's license or instruction permit.

Officers will especially monitor high-volume areas in Westside L.A. along Beverly Boulevard, Melrose Avenue and 3rd Street. It's unclear what kind of citations violators could garner.

The L.A. Department of Transportation has been putting in stencils warning e-scooter riders to stay off sidewalks.

Several Southern California cities have been forced to address the scooter issue.

LAPD Launches Task Force To Crack Down On Scooters
A stencil in Los Angeles warns e-scooter riders to stay off sidewalks. August 2019. (CBS2)

Last month, following Comic-Con, the city of San Diego said it would be imposing a $65 fine on companies Byrd, Lime and Lyft for each abandoned scooter that was not picked up.

Back in July 2018, the city of Beverly Hills issued a temporary six-month ban on scooters while it worked to come up with regulations for them.

That same month, the West Hollywood City Council voted to fine companies when scooters are left abandoned around town or on random parts of the sidewalk.

Santa Monica has tried to deal with the scooter littering by creating 100 drop zones where scooters can dropped off.

Last September, the L.A. City Council approved a cap of 3,000 motorized scooters per company within the city.

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