Los Angeles Times

Bird's scooters have flooded the streets of major cities. But can the start-up control misbehaving riders?

SAN FRANCISCO - Scooter rental start-up Bird wants customers to know its electric gadgets are not toys. It has produced educational videos and in-app notices to remind people to ride safely. It has given away helmets to anyone who wants one. And before a customer can even unlock a scooter, he or she has to agree to follow the rules of the road.

Still, many riders aren't getting the message.

In cities where the scooters have launched, riders continue to flout local helmet rules, ride on sidewalks and disobey traffic laws.

Last week in Santa Monica, Calif., a man on a Bird scooter collided with a Honda sedan after zipping through a stop sign, resulting in what the Santa Monica Police Department described as a moderate head injury. The man was not wearing a helmet.

The struggle to

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