Motorized pedicabs causing safety concerns

Posted at 7:22 AM, Jan 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-21 10:22:48-05

There's no flashy lights or loud music on Kevin Bray's pedicab.

"I'm kind of old fashioned like that I guess," he laughed. 

Bray has been driving with Alley Cabs for more than a decade. He chooses to attract his passengers with conversation, and power the ride with his legs.

"Chicken legs of steel," Bray joked.

But some of the pedicabs zipping around downtown have an unfair and illegal advantage.

Some pedicabs are using little batteries to power tiny motors, which is against the law. Bray pointed them out to us. "Basically they're in the front wheel," he said.

He says they can go up to 25 miles per hour. He believes speeds that fast are dangerous.

"They go so fast there is an opportunity to make a mistake," Bray said. 

One pedicab driver wasn't happy when he saw 10News photojournalist Derek Johnson recording him on his motorized pedicab.

He got into a confrontation with us for about five minutes, while we tried explaining to him what we were doing and that motorized pedicabs are illegal in the state of California.

It ended abruptly when we asked to see his permit. He jumped on his motorized pedicab and peddled away.

Bray says those drivers bending the rules are putting people at risk.

"At one time we had the respect of the concierges, and the restaurants, we all worked together," Bray said. "They would call us, recommend us, and we've lost that status because of that kind of behavior."

San Diego Police say they are going to try to start cracking down on violators, and it's possible they will discuss new legislation that covers motorized pedicabs.