Shared bike and scooter companies in California are prompting state lawmakers to oppose a bill that would “threaten the very existence of micromobility” in the state. The bill, AB 1286, would restrict companies from consisting of language in their regards to service asking riders to waive liability for injuries– a arrangement shared movement companies claim would basically require them to close down if enacted.
The bill is a item of the pre-pandemic times, initially presented in February 2019 and passed a couple of months later on in May by the California State Assembly The bill laid inactive for months up until recently, when it passed a committee vote in the Senate That triggered the bike and scooter market in the state to spring into action.
Bike and scooter operators argue this will expose them to lawsuits from riders who are injured while using their vehicles, including those injuries caused by poor road conditions, reckless driving, or rider negligence. The ability to waive liability for injuries is a legal protection granted to other recreation and transportation rental businesses, such as ski resorts, car rental agencies, and white water rafting companies, they state. Without that protection, they can be litigated out of existence, they say.
To be sure, riders who sign liability waivers can still seek compensation from shared mobility companies for injuries and safety violations. Case in point, Lime and Bird were both sued in San Francisco Superior Court recently by dozens of customers who were injured while riding their scooters.
In response, the shared mobility industry and their allies have issued a flurry of letters warning state legislators that the bill could have the unintended consequence of killing off the shared bike and scooter industry in California.
“Other cities around the world have recognized this phenomenon and are rushing to expand access to clean, socially distant micromobility,” a coalition of companies including Uber, Lyft, Bird, Lime, Spin, and others, write in a letter to Senate leaders in California. “But AB 1286 would instead legislate it out of existence, sending California down a regressive path and adding tens of millions of car trips each year to our cities’ streets.”