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'Scootergeddon' on streets of San Francisco

E-Scooters have created a 'Scootergeddon' chaos on the sidewalks of San Francisco, forcing officials to introduce new laws.

Three companies - Bird Rides, Lime Bikes and Spin - launched dockless, rentable e-scooters across the city at the end of March, resulting in a spate of scooter-related injuries and blocked sidewalks.

San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin told CNet magazine: "I am getting all kinds of complaints.

"They range from people having to dodge them as they go 15 miles an hour down the sidewalks illegally to people tripping over them to businesses upset that they're [blocking storefronts]."

A law has now been introduced that requires scooter companies to get an operating permit.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) must now approve the requirements and conditions of the permits in a discussion expected to take place on May 1.

Santa Monica is also facing a 'Scootergeddon' after Bird flooded the streets with scooters, and officials claim they did not obtain permission to do so.

Since the start of 2018, the Santa Monica Police Department says it's made 694 traffic stops on e-scooters and issued 328 citations.

One scooter rider not wearing a helmet was seriously injured in January after colliding with a car.

In San Francisco, the department of public works has begun impounding scooters left on sidewalks that "block pedestrians' ability to travel".

As of April 19, inspectors had confiscated 286 scooters from the three companies. To retrieve the vehicles, each company has to pay the city fines of around $3,000.

But the scooter companies insist they are doing a good thing for the city and the environment.

Travis VanderZanden, CEO and founder of Bird Rides, said: "Our mission is really to help reduce car trips, traffic and carbon emissions. We think Bird is having a very positive impact in the cities we're operating in."

Spin's co-founder and president, Euwyn Poon, claimed electric scooters "make boring commutes fun."

Opposing legislation has been put before California's State Assembly.

The proposed law changes would allow users to legally ride without a helmet and allow e-scooters on sidewalks at speeds of up to 20 mph.

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