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Electric Bird Scooter Sits Unattended On Sidewalk (Via Wikimedia)
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California To Allow Helmet-Less Scooting

New Bill Would Allow Scooter Riders To Ride Without Head Protection

By Sean Brown, September 3, 2018 7:30 am

California scooter rides may soon be able to “scoot” helmet-free.

Introduced by Assemblyman Heath Flora (R-Ripon), AB 2989 would allow motorized scooter riders over 18 years of age to cruise on streets that have speeds up to 35mph without wearing a helmet.

Current law requires anyone riding a motorized scooter in California to wear a helmet, regardless of their age. The bill’s sponsor, Bird, an e-scooter company, noted that this helmet requirement doesn’t apply to adults riding motorized bicycles. As such, they are seeking a level playing field. They also fear that requiring a helmet could impact their business. Get it? “Impact”?

It is unclear what how lawmakers will view competing companies such as Bird and Lime as many other cities in California have not necessarily fully supported the idea. The app-accessible scooters have boomed in cities such as San Diego, Los Angeles, Oakland. However, San Francisco banned the companies back in early June stating they did not have proper permits, before deciding a couple days ago to allow a limited re-introduction of the yuppie-friendly mode of transport. Many people considered the original ban to be based less on safety and more because they were conflicting with pedestrians and cluttering up sidewalks.

This bill passed the Assembly 73-0 and now heads to Governor Brown’s desk, where he will have until Sept. 30 to sign or veto it. According to the Sfchronicle, Brown has not yet weighed in on the bill.

Sean Brown

Before becoming a writer for the California Globe, Sean served as a Legislative Director in the New York City Council and is an NYU alumnus.
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