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Are you breaking the law when you hop on a Bird scooter?

Posted at 6:06 PM, Jul 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-12 20:05:50-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Bird dropped dozens of scooters in Kansas City this week and many people have been riding them, but some are violating Kansas City law while using them.

“I saw them by my work and I said I need to try those. I've seen them in other cities. I think it was cool Kansas City got them, so I wanted to test their limits,” said Nick Kee.

Bird is a new service that has a controversial backstory. They haven’t officially registered as a business in Kansas City, and in cities like Denver and Milwaukee, they were shown the door.

In Kansas City, they have been popular. Kee rode one for the first time Thursday.

“They are a lot quicker than I thought they were. Once they get down to 50 percent they slow down a bit. They got me across the city in about 15 minutes,” Kee said. 

We’ve seen people driving them all over the place. 

KCPD said riders can be ticketed for violations like riding on the sidewalk.

“They are not to be ridden on the sidewalk because they can be a problem for pedestrians. They can go up to 15 miles per hour, and they won't have time to get out of the way or an operator would not have time to stop and avoid injury to themselves or the pedestrian,” said Sgt. Jake Becchina.

Officers said the scooter is under 50ccs, meaning you don’t legally have to wear a helmet but they are suggested. Bird also requires you to wear a helmet.

The app scans your driver’s license before use. We talked with a personal injury attorney about the risks.

“I think the most important thing you need to do is look at the rules of the road for two-wheel vehicles. That left turn in front of a scooter or motorcycle takes out 50 percent of people. If you know that piece of information you are better off,” said James Roswold with Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys.

Roswold said never scan your license and let someone else drive.

Kee said he will continue to ride, but safety is important.

“They are a little less visible than bikes. Some people do get a little close, but it’s the risk,” said Kee.

Bird has not formally met with the city. 41 Action News is told that meeting will happen soon.