By Alli Malone
Would you rather get hit by a scooter or a motorcycle? At UCLA, you don’t have to choose! Students on Birds and the cops chasing them can’t wait to give you the opportunity to experience both.
On Tuesday November 5th, a UCPD officer on a motorcycle was sighted just outside Wasserman Football Center. The officer was initially parked, but proceeded to drive into oncoming foot traffic in order to pull over two students on electric scooters. The officer followed the students down the walking path behind Pauley Pavilion all the way to the ticket office before coming to a stop. At the time there was significant foot traffic on the path as students walked to or from class, and they not only had to avoid the two scooters, but also the oversize motorbike following them.
The pursuit was in the interest of pedestrian safety, of course. Motorcycles are obviously a safer vehicle than scooters – it’s not like they weigh almost 15 times as much as the average scooter, and can go more than 5 times as fast. It’s an obvious choice to have a larger machine involved in ticketing the small scooters deemed so dangerous by the University.
It’s exciting to see such clear-cut policy on motorized vehicles from the University. The transition from last year’s ban on Birds to the acceptance of scooters on campus, and the return to the ban has not been confusing in the slightest. Even during the time when the ban was lifted, and Lyft representatives at the Westwood block party hosted before week zero reassured students that riding scooters to class was perfectly legal so long as they wore a helmet, tickets continued to be handed out to helmeted and bare-headed students alike, highlighting the university’s stellar communication skills. How refreshing to see everyone on the same page!
The presence of a motorcycle pursuing scooters is certain to add credence to the current/previous/ongoing ban, and could in no way encourage more unsafe behavior. After all, it’s not as if people learn best from example. Therefore, there is no reason to fear an increased amount of motor vehicles in pedestrian areas after this motorcycle incident. Surely, on their on, students with their own bikes or mopeds wouldn’t consider driving over the curb and riding straight to class instead of parking. But the University has now set the precedent that motor vehicles can and will enter areas with heavy foot traffic- and its ok, unless the vehicle is a scooter.
Ultimately, this development in the quest to eradicate electric scooters on campus appears to be a well thought-out and safe approach. Students should expect a near future free of scooters thanks to these infallible measures taken by the university. It is a relief to know that UCLA is on top of this safety crisis.