Huntington Beach is a popular destination with numerous bars and restaurants along its well-known Main Street. Many of the people who flock to Main Street have begun to utilize rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft to avoid drinking and driving. However, using these services has presented a new set of safety challenges for the Huntington Beach police.
Main Street is a two-lane road. The police have observed Uber and Lyft drivers stopping in the middle of the road to pick up passengers, rather than pulling into a parking spot or designated loading and unloading area. This poses multiple safety risks. And it forces other drivers to make the choice of waiting behind the rideshare vehicle until its passengers have loaded, or attempt to go around the vehicle and potentially into oncoming traffic.
How is the Huntington Police Department handling the situation?
The first step the police have taken is to share information about the law. They have begun passing out flyers to drivers and also posted a letter on social media. It states that it is hazardous to stop in the middle of the street to pick up passengers. And it warns them that according to California Vehicle Code section 22400(a), it is illegal to block or impede traffic on the roadway. The letter also asks that drivers park in designated locations and if they fail to comply, a citation may be issued.
As of right now, police are simply warning drivers, however, they will begin issuing citations at the end of October. The fees and fines could be $300 or more. The warnings by the police have been met with mixed reviews from locals and patrons, however, Uber has stated that the company will reach out to the Huntington Beach Police to see how it can help with the situation.
The complex nature of rideshare car accidents
Unfortunately, the number of accidents involving rideshare services are steadily increasing as these services become more and more popular. Cases involving these companies are often complex. Both the rideshare companies and insurance agencies often try to deny responsibility for the accident. And since these types of cases are fairly new, there are not many precedents to go by. Even with the new California law, AB 2293, in effect which regulates insurance requirements for the rideshare companies and their drivers, victims of these accidents are still often left frustrated.
Because of the often unique issues and lack of precedent cases surrounding Uber and Lyft accidents, it is best to seek the advice of legal counsel in these cases. If you are involved in an accident involving a rideshare service, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help navigate the laws and work to get you compensation for your damaged vehicle, medical expenses and any other expenses incurred as a result of the accident.