West Hollywood Sheriff’s Deputies Have Been Ticketing Illegal Scooter Riders

Man riding a scooter on the sidewalk on Santa Monica Boulevard

Some residents have criticized the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station for not addressing the issue of people illegally riding motorized scooters on city sidewalks. However, the station, in fact, has been ticketing those violating state laws.

Data provided by Sheriff’s Station Captain Edward Ramirez shows that 72 citations were issued between July 1, 2018, and July 31, 2019, for motorized scooter violations. Of those, 22 were for driving on the sidewalk, 38 were for riding a scooter in the street without a helmet, and nine were for driving on streets where there was no bike lane and the speed limit was more than 25 mph. Scooters can be driven on roads with a maximum 35 mph speed limit only if the city specifically allows that, which West Hollywood doesn’t. Two tickets were for driving scooters with defective brakes and one was for driving without a valid driver’s license. A sidewalk-riding citation is $197, not including court processing costs or other fees.

That is a relatively large number of citations given the size of West Hollywood and the fact that the city has banned the rental of dockless electric scooters within the city limits. It is legal to rent them outside the city and ride them into WeHo. The Los Angeles Times reports that the Los Angeles Police Department has written 800 tickets to electric scooter riders between January of 2018 and mid-July, and cited them for more than 900 violations. The Times reported that the average number of active electric scooters in Los Angeles, where such vehicles have been legalized under a pilot program, was 21,000.

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