Helmets optional under proposed scooter bill

Posted at 5:21 PM, Sep 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-03 20:21:45-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Adults who enjoy riding motorized scooters may soon have more freedom on the road.

Assembly Bill 2989 has reached Governor Jerry Brown's desk and would make helmets optional for adults 18 and over.

Current law requires every rider to wear a helmet, but most do not despite facing a potential citation.

Supporters of the bill, which is sponsored by scooter company Bird, say it would provide clarity for riders, law enforcement, and city governments. They also argue state law does not require bicyclists to wear helmets.

Despite wide support among riders to have the freedom to choose, opponents of the bill worry it will lead to serious injuries.

“I realize the importance of prevention for accidents," said Dave Gapp, a downtown resident and former safety officer in the military. "You can educate people, you can enforce, but you also need to prevent.”

San Diego hospitals and urgent cares have reported an uptick in scooter injuries since companies like Bird and Lime came to town.

The bill is now in Governor Brown’s hands; he can choose to sign it into law, veto it or do nothing. If Brown does nothing, the bill automatically becomes law.