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Santa Monica Police to Crack Down on E-Scooters on Beach Bike Path
By Jorge Casuso
May 21, 2019 -- Santa Monica police on Friday will crack down on e-scooter and e-bike riders who violate the law by using the beach bike path, police officials announced Tuesday.
The enforcement is part of a bicycle, pedestrian and e-scooter safety enforcement operation taking place from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. that is aimed at educating those who share the road about traffic laws, police said.
Police will be on the lookout for "any electric devices being used on the beach/bike path and in the Downtown Santa Monica area in violation of current state and municipal laws," said Lt. Candice Cobarrubias, the Police Department spokesperson.
Earlier this month, police for the first time included e-scooter riders in a traffic enforcement operation but did not include those riding on the beach bike path, which is illegal ("Traffic Crackdown to Include E-Scooter Riders," May 10, 2019).
Last July, Santa Monica police began cracking down on electric scooters on the beach bike path by enforcing a law banning electric vehicles there.
Until then, riders had been given a pass by police who worried the municipal law was unclear.
The decision to begin enforcing the law came after the mother of a seven-year-old son who lost several teeth in a collision with an e-scooter posted an online petition that garnered more than 1,300 signatures ("Santa Monica Mother Launches Petition Drive After Son Injured by Motorized Scooter," July 18 2018).
Police on Friday also will be on the lookout for e-scooters riders violating traffic laws as they zip around the Downtown, where the electric vehicles are most commonly used.
E-scooter riders will be stopped for riding on the sidewalk, not complying with stop signs and signals or riding on the wrong side of the road and any other violation of traffic laws, police said.
Friday's crackdown -- which is part of a month-long enforcement effort by Santa Monica police -- will include cyclists, drivers and pedestrians that put "roadway users at risk."
"These violations include drivers speeding, making illegal turns, failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, failing to stop for signs and signals or any other dangerous violation," police said.
Police will also be on the lookout for pedestrians who "cross the street illegally or fail to yield to drivers who have the right of way," officials said.
In addition, officers will look for bicyclists who violate the same traffic laws that apply to drivers. They will focus on those riding on the wrong side of the road.
Bicyclists should always wear a helmet, which are required by law for those under 18.
The program is paid for with a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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