Amid safety concerns, San Diego mayor wants geo-fencing to slow down dockless scooters

Posted at 12:29 PM, Oct 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-22 20:22:21-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Mayor Kevin Faulconer is proposing new regulations for dockless scooters around the city.

Faulconer, Council members Lori Zapf and Chris Cate, and representatives from the scooter companies held a press conference Monday morning at NTC Park, in Liberty Station to address growing concerns over the safety of dockless scooters. 

“We want to make sure that its safe, that there are clear rules of the road and regulations that make sense.”

Faulconer is proposing to “geo-fence” certain areas around the city. Geo-fencing is remote technology that will limit scooter speeds to 8 miles per hour. 

The areas will include: 

  • Boardwalks in Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and La Jolla beach areas
  • Downtown Embarcadero
  • Promenade behind the San Diego Convention Center
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade Downtown
  • Balboa Park
  • NTC Park
  • Mission Bay Park

The proposed regulations will require dockless scooter companies to educate riders on traffic laws. The companies will also need to exclude the city for any liability claims, provide monthly reports for the Climate Action Plan and pay a fee to operate within city limits. 

The scooter companies -- Razor, Lime and Bird -- say they agree with the proposed rules. 

In a statement, Razor said:

“The proposed regulations are aligned with our belief that a safe ride is the best ride. Leveraging our 18-plus years of experience, we have custom-built our dockless Razor Share e-scooter and newly-launched EcoSmart scooter to provide a more comfortable ride. Our local team members then actively inspect and maintain our scooters to ensure a better rider experience every day.”

Zapf says the city has seen a number of accidents involving dockless scooters since May. 

“All you have to do is talk to any emergency room and they will confirm that scooters can be dangerous," Zapf said.

The city council’s Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee met this morning on the proposed framework.

The city council will meet Oct. 23 at 10 a.m. to discuss the proposed regulations.