Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/07/11/725646.html
Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/07/11/725646.html
Getting that info seems reasonable (names can and should be redacted in any public filings). But is the scooter company really liable in this situation? I know when I rent a car, my insurance covers me in any accidents I cause.
As an e-biker who drives it like I own a car (stop lights/signs, ped-xing, etc), I have no problem with this. e-scooters are just as dangerous, and given the fact that most of them have GPS means that whatever company is responsible should immediately be able to figure out the culprit.
Someone left a rental e-bike on its side in the middle of a sidewalk. I picked it up to move it out of the way, and it immediately started saying “WARNING! WARNING! The police are being informed if you move this bike!”. Ha.
Most e-scooter folks’ insurance policies (if one exists) won’t cover this. So the individual can probably be sued. Interesting question, though. At what point does a bike or scooter require a license and insurance?
Medeiros was biking home from work about 5:30 p.m. on June 20 when he was struck by an electric scooter rider traveling on the wrong side of the road in the 1200 block of North Leavitt Street, his lawyer Bryant Greening said in a statement. The scooter rider left the scene.
This area is busy as f**k on a Thursday afternoon. Hopefully he has plenty of witnesses who can help I.D. the culprit if they get possible matches.
rules of the road apply to all modalities. additionally motorized scooters shouldn’t be on sidewalks.
I’m not a fan of unlicensed/unregulated operation of any motor vehicle, unless it’s a flaming hoverboard. People peddling bikes can cause enough mayhem, and I’ve seen how idiots will whip around on these scooters and on ebikes. Most folks just don’t consider the consequences of 200 pounds or so moving at 10-15 miles an hour, much less higher speeds.
To me these ebikes are another example of gangster capitalism, like Google, Facebook, the “gig economy,” etc… If that sounds too harsh, I guess you could always roll back to “late stage capitalism.”
At the point that effectively unrecoverable damages become a public nuisance.
The above is just a pragmatic response. Owning an automobile was as simple as buying one, back at the start of the 20th century.
Now we have not only licensing requirements, but insurance coverage requirements, and the option to take out insurance for the cases where the liable party does not have insurance, etc.
Since these eScooter and eBikes etc. are flopped on the street with zero meaningful way for the companies that profit from their rentals to verify the capacity or intention of the user to operate them safely, I think it is completely appropriate for the eBandits (Lime, et. al.) to be held responsible for damages.
Allowing those companies to exteranalize the damages caused by negligent operation of their vehicles is old-school, gangster capitalism.
Shout out to @Supercrisp for my new fave phrase (at least for today)
Holy shit, how fast do those things go? That’s a lot of harm inflicted from a scooter.
I’m pretty sure in CA for an e-bike it is when any electric assist is applied at or above 25MPH. It is valid to give assist up to 24MPH and allow gravity or a fuckton of peddling to take it to 25MPH or over.
I think a lot of other states have similar laws, but I’m less sure about this. It would make sense though as most eBikes seem to have an assist that cuts out at 24MPH. If it was a “just CA” thing you would see other speeds in other states.
I’m just slightly less sure that the situation with scooters is the same (despite having bought one for my short, but not short enough commute to the bus, mine only goes ~15MPH because I was prioritizing compact size when folded not being able to break all my bones if someone opens a car door just in front of me).
Around here I sometimes see dirt bikes and minibike(s) either driven on the sidewalk or hike/bike trails, or performing stunts in traffic. One guy weaving through traffic yesterday didn’t (visibly) have a license plate. I’m guessing there’s not much the police could do, given that any pursuit would effectively end as soon as the bike rider simply drove off where a police car couldn’t go.
What about non-rented eBikes, eScooters…or even the non-e versions?
I can get a one-speed pedal bike up over 15MPH, and I weight…too much…I’m pretty sure an accidental impact with a pedestrian could do similar damage. Should Schwinn be liable?
If it is different for electric power vs. “just pedal fast”, why?
If it is different for rented vs. purchased, why?
I’m not saying you are wrong, just that this feels like we are putting an arbitrary line somewhere, and I don’t really understand how you are deciding where it goes (and to be utterly honest I don’t understand how I am deciding either, and just as importantly while I understand how CA has decided (mumble-mumble 25MPH mumble mumble), that doesn’t make them right either). To be clear I’m not attempting to change your mind, this is the sort of “when are two very similar things morally or legally vastly different” thing I’ve just always found interesting.
15 MPH. Cyclist travelling in the opposite direction could achieve the same speed if they’re riding slightly faster than casual pedaling (ebikes can get 25-ish MPH). Now do your physics calculations using an average man weight of, say, 180 lbs.
It’s not the people selling the bikes that are the problem.
(peddle ≠ pedal)
Ugh. I’m an English teacher AND an editor, and I still make mistakes like that. All the time.
I would think that the scooter driver could face criminal charges as well - hit-and-run with personal injuries.
I think it is reasonable (which I recognize has nothing to do with how laws actually work) to say that the person operating the vehicle in an unsafe way is responsible, as is the owner of the vehicle, if they allow it to be operated in an unsafe way.
The seller might be liable if they sold the vehicle to someone who was clearly not going to operate it safely - selling a car to someone with a revoked license comes to mind.
The manufacturer would be liable only if the product were designed or marketed to be used in an unsafe way.
You run someone over in your BMW, you are liable.
You run someone over in the BMW I lent/rent you, we both are liable.
You run someone over in the BMW you just bought on a drunken impulse, you and the dealership are liable.
You run someone over in your new BMW DeathRace 2000 Cabriolet , you and BMW are liable.
San Diego is finally collecting e-bikes and impounding them, the Co.'s have to pay the impound to retrieve them.
I was an editor and a proof reader. I see mistakes like that all the time, too.
Seriously, my eyes will not let my brain pass a typo without stopping for a “WTF?” which means reading some publications regularly stops my ‘stream of involvement’ dead in its tracks.
(Or is it ‘my brain will not let my eyes pass a typo’?)
Agreed, but good luck with that.