Father Kidney Knocked Down by Lime Scooter

The Pacific Palisades Community Council has passed a resolution asking for greater scrutiny and enforcement of rules for dockless scooters/bikes.

Company Fails to Provide Police with Information

Corpus Christi Monsignor Liam Kidney was knocked down by a person driving a Lime Scooter on April 13 after he had conducted a memorial service for Ned Kelly.

Kidney was crossing the street (Toyopa) between the church and the rectory when he was struck by the scooter. He was taken to the hospital, diagnosed with a concussion and had eight stitches.

The driver, however, ditched the scooter and fled the scene.

Senior Lead Officer Michael Moore was contacted and in an April 23 email to Circling the News wrote: “The incident was treated as a ‘hit and run’ but Lime Scooter refused to cooperate with West Traffic Detectives and would not release the driver/renter info.”

Councilman Mike Bonin’s office was contacted, and his spokesperson David Graham-Caso responded that “Yes, hit-and-run laws apply to people driving scooters. Because scooters are considered motor vehicles under the CA Vehicle Code, all traffic laws apply to them.”

CTN emailed Graham-Caso back and asked why this company was not required to give the information to the police. There has been no response.

Angered by the whole incident, the Pacific Palisades Community Council passed a resolution on May 9 that: “Every business providing dockless electric scooters and/or bicycles operating in the City of Los Angeles should reasonably be required to cooperate fully with law enforcement. . . .Whereas, Dockless Mobility Devices providers can provide notice to users in the ‘Terms of Use’ of their rental agreements that user information will be provided to law enforcement, upon request by law enforcement.”

The resolution went on to say that the City should deny a business license/or dockless mobility permit if a company fails to cooperate with law enforcement and provide suspensions for companies that refuse to comply with law enforcement officials.

PPCC member Steve Boyers, who wrote the resolution, said that scooter issues need to be addressed by the City during the current trial period for dockless scooters. Conditional permit applications were accepted from scooter/bike operators in October 2018 for a one-year trial program.

(The permit/regulations can be viewed: ladot.lacity.org/sites/g/files/wph266/f/LADOTDocklessCP.pdf.)

The City’s document specifies that companies need to pay a $5,000 permit fee and a conditional permit vehicle fee of $32.50 per vehicle—maximum fleet size 3,000. A company must pay business taxes and have proof of insurance liability and automobile insurance.

According to the document, anyone on a scooter must have a helmet, yield to pedestrians, not ride on sidewalks and must be 18 years old with a driver’s license.

In the document, there is no mention of enforcement. One of the grounds for terminating program permits is failure to share data. But the data referred to in the report is the real-time data and real-time Vehicle availability data—not injury nor hit-and-run.

Anecdotally, the Community Council was told that ER physicians have said that incidents, such as the Kidney ‘hit- and-run’ accident, have risen exponentially since the dockless scooters/bikes have become part of the Westside street scene.

“Doing business in L.A. is a privilege,” Boyers said, and businesses need to follow the laws. “I’m worried that if this is not addressed in the trial document, then it will become the final document [and still not addressed].”

Councilman Mike Bonin

In an August 2018 City News Service story (“L.A. City Council Committee to Electric Scooter Riders: Slow Down!”) Bonin, who heads the transportation committee, said he supported these scooters despite the fact that Councilman Paul Koretz called for a temporary ban until full regulations were in place.

“’With any form of transportation, whether it’s bicycles or cars, or scooters, people need to obey the laws,” Bonin said. “And this is a little more confusing at first because it’s a relatively new mode of transportation for folks, so it’s going to take both smart regulation and enforcement. The anticipation is that there will be other forms of stuff coming down the pipeline. I want to make sure we don’t get caught in a situation where we’re treating each thing as an individual phenomenon.

“I want these rules to capture everything and then we can refine from there, but I want to make sure there’s a governing structure as we start with whatever the new thing is,” Bonin said.

Luckily, ‘hit-and-run’ is hardly a new phenomenon, and the PPCC resolution should be easily adopted by Bonin and the City—as well as some type of enforcement for those caught riding on sidewalks or without helmets or without a license.

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2 Responses to Father Kidney Knocked Down by Lime Scooter

  1. ROSANNE MANGIO says:

    I WAS NEARLY RUN OVER BY A 9 YEAR OLD SPEEDING IN A SCOOTER IN RALPHS PARKING LOT…..THEY USE THEIR PARENTS CREDIT CARD AND DO WHAT THEY WANT…NO SAFETY HELMETS…..PARENTS RIDING TANDEM WITH THEIR SMALL CHILDREN…NO HELMETS…NO RULES OR REGULATIONS SET BY THE CITY….MAYOR UNLEASHED 100,000 SCOOTERS FOR A KICK BACK I’M THINKING…

  2. Francoise says:

    Obviously no excuse for hit and run, but it also sounds like Fr. Kidney was jaywalking, which may make him partially responsible.

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