July 7, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Bird Rides, Inc. Agrees to Plead “No Contest” in Violating City Law and Will Pay Over $300,000 in Fines and Restitution

On February 14, 2018, Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office prosecutors entered a plea agreement with Bird Rides, Inc. and Travis VanderZanden (collectively “Bird”), whereby Bird will accept responsibility for violating local law and pay significant penalties. Upon a referral from the City’s Code Enforcement Division, prosecutors filed a criminal complaint against the motorized scooter company and its president on December 6, 2017. Both were charged with multiple counts of violating local law by operating a commercial scooter rental business on the public right of way without a proper City business license and failing to comply with City administrative citations.

As part of the plea agreement, Bird agreed to:

  • Secure proper City business licenses and work with the City’s Business License Division to ensure compliance with local business licensing regulations.
  • Pay previously issued Administrative Citation fines totaling $6,115.63.
  • Pay additional fines and investigative costs totaling $300,000.
  • Run a weeklong public safety education campaign on the Big Blue Bus.
  • Accept responsibility for Bird’s prior conduct, plead “No Contest” to an infraction and pay additional criminal fines of $200 plus statutory penalty assessments.

“With this agreement, Bird and VanderZanden acknowledge that they failed to comply with the City of Santa Monica’s business licensing requirements which are designed to protect the safety of the public,” said Deputy City Attorney Eda Suh. “Bringing this new business into compliance with local law achieves a fair and positive outcome for the people of Santa Monica.”

The plea agreement must still be approved by the California Superior Court before it becomes effective. Prosecutors and Bird will return to court on February 26thto seek Court approval of this plea agreement.

In this case, the City will devote a significant portion of the fines it will collect to a broader public safety campaign for Vision Zero, the City Council’s goal of eliminating deaths and significant injuries from traffic collisions.

The City of Santa Monica continues to work with Bird Rides to address safety concerns posed by unsafe operation of motorized scooters. The California Vehicle Code prohibits them from being operated on sidewalks or on the beach bike path and riders must have a valid driver’s license and wear a helmet, with only one person to a device. The Santa Monica Police Department has worked to educate riders on these requirements and is now citing motorized scooter riders for State Law violations.

Bird has also recently reduced the top speed of their scooters from 22 to 15 miles per hour; instituted a free helmet service for users; marked their vehicles with key safety rules; more clearly spelled out safety rules on their App; and improved their App security to help ensure that only those with a valid driver’s license can register to ride a scooter.

Related Posts

Three teens arrested on suspicion of looting and arson: Santa Monica Beat – July, 6, 2020

July 6, 2020

July 6, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Three teens arrested on suspicion of looting and arson. * Covid-19...

Santa Monica Sees Unhealthy Air Quality After Fireworks

July 5, 2020

July 5, 2020

Fireworks continue in LA County despite ban By Staff Writer Air quality throughout most of Los Angeles County, including Santa...

Man Dies After Jumping off Santa Monica Pedestrian Bridge

July 4, 2020

July 4, 2020

By Sam Catanzaro A man died in Santa Monica Saturday morning after jumping onto the freeway from a pedestrian bridge....

Santa Monica Beaches–Aside From Pier–Score High Water Quality Marks

July 3, 2020

July 3, 2020

Heal the Bay releases annual water quality report By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica beaches–with the exception of Santa Monica Pier–scored...

Santa Monica Sets Fines for Not Wearing Mask

July 2, 2020

July 2, 2020

Order also authorizes businesses to refuse service for those not wearing masks By Sam Catanzaro The City of Santa Monica...

Newsom Orders LA County Dining Rooms Close

July 2, 2020

July 2, 2020

Indoor museums, cardrooms and more also ordered to close By Sam Catanzaro Earlier this week Los Angeles County’s public health...

Local high school student wins national chess tournament: Santa Monica Beat – July, 2, 2020

July 2, 2020

July 2, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Local high school student wins national chess tournament. * Man charged...

Hostel on Historic Property Eyeing Expansion

June 30, 2020

June 30, 2020

Hostel located on same property as 19th-century Rapp Saloon eyeing five-story expansion By Sam Catanzaro A Santa Monica hostel located...

Appeals Court Issues Tentative Ruling in Voting Rights Case

June 30, 2020

June 30, 2020

Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District issues tentative ruling in Pico Neighborhood Association, et al. v. City of Santa Monica By Sam Catanzaro...

Video: West Los Angeles VA Tent Row

June 30, 2020

June 30, 2020

What is the deal with the row of tents outside the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs campus? Learn more in...

$10k Reward for Info on Santa Monica Police Car Arsonist

June 30, 2020

June 30, 2020

FBI and Santa Monica police looking for suspect who was involved in May 31 police car fire By Staff Writer...

LA County Orders Closures of Beaches During 4th of July Weekend

June 29, 2020

June 29, 2020

Fireworks displays also banned in county By Sam Catanzaro After reporting the highest single one-day COVID-19 case count, Los Angeles...

County Reports Highest Single-Day COVID-19 Tally

June 29, 2020

June 29, 2020

One in every 140 people in the county has the virus and is infectious, say LA County health officials By...

City Council re-allocates police funds: Santa Monica Beat – June, 29, 2020

June 29, 2020

June 29, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * City Council re-allocates police funds. * Will bars and restaurants remain...