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At the intersection of Melrose and Fairfax this afternoon, L.A. City Councilmember Paul Koretz and LAPD representatives hosted a press conference to announce a new E-Scooter Task Force. The “task force” is essentially a push for police to enforce e-scooter laws, including prohibitions on sidewalk riding and multiple riders on a single scooter. Tickets for these offenses cost riders $197.
Today Koretz stated, “Everywhere I go, I get complaints from people harmed by e-scooters.” He called e-scooter riding on sidewalks “the most dangerous” scooter behavior, due to the danger posed to pedestrians, including senior citizens. Koretz sees enforcement as key to “protect[ing] the lives and safety of our residents on the sidewalks.”
Koretz called e-scootering “a risky activity” for the rider, stating that he questions “if there is a way to make these [scooters] completely safe,” and that “a couple of people have died on scooters in Los Angeles.”
(SBLA is aware of only one shared e-scooter death in the city of L.A. In Hollywood this past April, a driver fleeing police pursuit killed a scooterist before being apprehended and charged with five felonies. To date, there have been no pedestrians killed by e-scooters. Drivers do kill hundreds of Angelenos each year, most of whom are pedestrians. But that’s another story.)
LAPD West Traffic Captain Elaine Morales stated that her three top priorities are e-scooter violations, speed limit violations, and pedestrians.
Koretz marshaled city efforts to add stencils against sidewalk e-scootering, including at the corner where today’s press event was held.