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San Francisco Seizes Hundreds Of Electric Scooters While Finalizing Regulations

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- San Francisco is cracking down on electric scooters while also trying to set some ground rules.

The number of confiscations is now in the hundreds.

San Francisco supervisors are on the verge of passing new regulations on thousands of scooters that have taken over city streets.

Meanwhile, the city's Public Works Department continues to confiscate scooters that are breaking the law.

San Francisco resident Nors Davidson said, "Where are these things coming from? I mean, they're literally landing from another planet. They're everywhere."

And when they are parked somewhere they are not supposed to be, San Francisco Public Works crews have been picking them up en masse.

San Francisco Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru said, "Every morning I send out a couple of trucks ... I have complaints from 3-1-1. When we find them, we pick them up and take them to our facility."

So far, San Francisco Public Works has confiscated 335 scooters.

Collectively, the three scooter companies have paid more than $15,000 to get them back. And Nuru says there are other rules that they're breaking.

"If you have a scooter, you should be using the streets and not the bike lanes or the sidewalks," Nuru said. "They're motorized and they're a different mode of transportation. In the vehicle code, they're considered a motorized vehicle, which is like a motorcycle."

A Bird spokesman disagrees.

"Mr. Nuru's claim that scooter riders cannot be in bike lanes is inaccurate," a Bird company spokesman said in an email to KPIX 5. "People may ride scooters like Birds on roads and bike lanes, but not on sidewalks. Bird instructs riders about this... Additionally, his claim that scooters like Birds are like motorcycles is inaccurate. They are regulated as "motorized scooters."

San Francisco resident Amy Pierce said, "Hmmm ... as a biker, I appreciate that ... It's nice that people are mobile in the city, but ..."

The scooter companies began operations last month without asking permission from the city or sorting out rules about how they should operate.

They are convenient, but they can also be quite messy and when they're on the sidewalks, downright dangerous.

San Francisco resident Amanda Simmons said, "I think it's a positive thing ... You can just pick it up on the side of the road, scan your card and you're ready to go."

Simmons added that the parking situation "is a little sketch."

The Supervisors are expected to pass a new set of regulations at tomorrow night's meeting. The mayor is expected to sign them into law.

San Francisco resident Nors Davidson said, "Like a lot of things, I think it's time to make sure they're safe. Because pedestrian safety is probably our number one problem in the city."

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