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Councilman Paul Koretz: Why I introduced a motion to temporarily ban electric scooters in L.A.

Councilman Paul Koretz: Why I introduced a motion to temporarily ban electric scooters in L.A.
Bird scooter riders make their way through Venice on July 24. (Richard Vogel / AP)

To the editor: There is an infestation of electric scooters, with far too many riders putting themselves and the public at risk. Virtually everyone who rides them does so unsafely and illegally.

Every day my staff receives complaints about riders not wearing helmets, riding on the sidewalk, being too young, and even riding two on a scooter, all in violation of state law. Pedestrians are having to jump out of the way and cars have to swerve to avoid them, not always successfully, leading to injuries.

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I have asked for a temporary ban while we work to see if we can create regulations and policy to prevent accidents. I believe the city would be negligent to allow the dangers to play out before we put together a cogent policy that we can be confident will work.

To be clear, my motion is a pause button. No one is saying that there will be a total ban on electric scooters forever. We must first figure out if through regulations these scooters can be made safe both for their riders and the public.

Only if we are confident about safety and enforcement should we allow for their usage.

Paul Koretz, Los Angeles

The writer is the Los Angeles City Councilman for the 5th District.

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