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Scooting while drunk is a dangerous, lame way to get a DUI

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Yes, you can get busted for scooting while drunk. 

With scooters swooping into more and more cities, it’s no surprise that people are behaving badly on the electric devices. E-scooter rental company Bird celebrated its first anniversary earlier this month with 2.1 million riders in 100 cities. That’s 10 million rides.  

But not all those rides have gone smoothly. Just this week Los Angeles had its first DUI case involving an e-scooter. The Bird scooter driver was three times over the legal limit when he crashed into a 64-year-old pedestrian, who fell to the ground, scraping their knees. Twenty-eight-year-old Nicholas Kauffroath rode off without helping the pedestrian. Read more…

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A Lime scooter rider died this morning in Washington, D.C., marking the second fatality this month

Lime, the 18-month-old, San Francisco-based company whose bright green bicycles and scooters now dot cities throughout the U.S., launched a pilot program in Tacoma, Washington, today, but that tiny victory might have felt short-lived. The reason: on the opposite side of the country, a Lime rider was killed today by an SUV while tooling around Washington D.C.’s DuPont neighborhood. The local fire department shared video of the rescue, which shows that the victim, an adult male, had to be pulled from the undercarriage of the vehicle.

It’s the second known fatality for the company following a death earlier this month in Dallas, when a 24-year-old Texas man fell off the scooter he was riding and died from blunt force injuries to his head.

On the one hand, the developments, while unfortunate, can hardly come as a surprise to anyone given how vulnerable riders or e-scooters are. E-scooter use is on the rise, with both Lime and its L.A.-based rival Bird, announcing this week that their customers have now taken north of 10 million rides. At the same time, city after city has deemed their use on sidewalks illegal out of fear that fast-moving riders will collide with and injure pedestrians. That leaves riders sharing city streets with the same types of giant, exhaust-spewing machines that they hope to increasingly displace. In fact, sales of traditional SUVs has continued to surge, thanks in part to low unemployment, high consumer confidence, and Americans’ enduring love with gigantic vehicles.

One solution to the issue, and one for which the e-scooter companies and their investors have been advocating, are protected lanes that would allow e-scooters to be operated more safely. Bird has even publicly offered to help fund new infrastructure that keeps cyclists and scooter riders safer.

Another possible answer would appear to be mandating the use of helmets with e-scooters, though California evidently disagrees. On Wednesday, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into a law that states Californians riding electric scooters will no longer be required to wear helmets as of January 1.

The bill was reportedly sponsored by Bird.

E-scooter company CEO wants to ‘Save Our Sidewalks’ from bike litter

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Bird is flying into more cities, and as the electric scooter-share company spreads its wings, it wants to make sure it doesn’t destroy communities with its short-range vehicles.

Bird expanded from Southern California this week to San Francisco and San Jose, California, along with Washington, D.C. With the expansion, CEO Travis VanderZanden introduced the “Save Our Sidewalks” pledge.

VanderZanden has proposed other scooter and bike-share companies, like LimeBike, Ofo, MoBike, and Jump, commit to a daily pick-up program, responsible growth of vehicle fleets, and revenue sharing with city governments. Read more…

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New Zealand’s bird of the year is a highly cheeky parrot known for messing with humans

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New Zealand, you’re alright.

What other country, teeming with magnificent, yet sadly endangered wildlife, would have an annual bird of the year competition?

Perpetual natural paradise New Zealand has announced the winner for the country’s 13th bird of the year, awarded to the world’s only alpine parrot, the kea.

What’s a kea? It’s an unusual olive-green parrot found in the country’s southern alps, known for its intelligence, cheekiness, and curiosity — something that can “get them into trouble,” according to the BOTY website. Read more…

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Bird staring at itself in this window is not having an existential crisis

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No, this bird isn’t having an existential crisis, despite appearances.

A bird in Queensland, Australia was photographed staring at itself in the window by journalist Nick Wiggins, with a sign above it.

“I’m a bush stone curlew. I’m fine. I just like to stare at myself in the window,” the sign reads, penned by “Caitlin from Wildcare Australia.” 

Of course, Twitter was happy to jump in with a collective “same.”

We’ve all been there pic.twitter.com/AKgnF9EoXb

— Nick Wiggins (@nick__w) March 13, 2017

Even with that logical explanation, it’s hard not to ignore the bird’s hilarious introspection, as it stares blankly at its own reflection — perhaps pondering at what’s become of its life. Read more…

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