The Law That Could Kill Bike and Scooter Share in California — and Set a Dangerous Precedent For Your State

California is on the brink of passing a bill that would kill bike and scooter share in the Golden State — and if other states follow its lead, it could change our national crash-liability laws for the worse.
Assembly Bill 1286 would make it illegal for motorized scooter, e-skateboard and e-bike rental companies to require users to sign liability waivers as part of their terms of service agreements — a ban that would not affect car-rental or taxi companies, which also require them.

The shift would make micromobility companies automatically liable for many rider injuries, even in cases where bad road design, reckless driving, or the negligence of the rider caused the crash. Under standard liability waivers, people who rent scooters must acknowledge that they’re taking a risk by operating a lightweight, non-enclosed vehicle on our dangerous, car-dominated roads — which isn’t ideal, experts say, but at least doesn’t hold bike- and scooter-share providers liable for our bloody transportation culture, which most micromobility companies say they’re working to reform.