The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that 49% of commutes are shorter than 3 miles. This places nearly half of the country’s transportation needs within the micro-mobility sector.
Shared eScooter and bicycle rental companies have pioneered efforts to make cleaner methods of transportation readily available to meet the needs of the community. This reduces carbon emissions, road maintenance expenses, traffic congestion and noise pollution; meanwhile generating millions of dollars in tax revenue. City Officials have labeled the micromobility industry a necessary business that supports social distancing.
Theft and vandalism of eScooters and bicycles is a major problem with an impact and magnitude that is often overlooked. The International Crime Victim Survey has repeatedly found that the rate of car theft holds a strong inversely proportional relationship with the rate of bicycle and scooter theft.
Businesses that invest upwards of $1200 per vehicle are unable to solicit police assistance to protect their company assets.
We, the undersigned, call on the city of Los Angeles to create legislation to aid in the reduction of theft and vandalism of shared micro-mobility vehicles.
Criminalization of these actions is imperative. The absence of police assistance during recovery efforts puts micro-mobility workers at great risk and creates a landscape for additional criminal activity. Often these recovery efforts result in violence and physical injuries at the hands of those who are stealing these vehicles to dismantle and sell.
What would happen if victims of car theft were forced to chase down and recover their stolen property without police interaction?
This is an extremely dangerous and negligent response to a major problem in this city and we must take action before it escalates even further.
In addition to the criminalization of eScooter and bicycle theft, we propose that a portion of the tax revenue generated by the micro-mobility industry be allocated towards providing police assistance in response to these crimes.
The Legislation to Stop eScooter and Bicycle Theft petition to City Council was written by Jaime Gehly and is in the category Law Reform at GoPetition.