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E-scooter ban on San Diego boardwalks starts

Posted at 3:21 PM, Feb 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-01 11:03:32-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Saturday marks the first day of the electric scooter and motorized device ban on San Diego's beach boardwalks. They include La Jolla Shores, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, and the bayside walk area of Mission Bay.

The ban comes after multiple reports of wipeouts, severe injuries, and even deaths. It was finalized by a 5-4 city council vote in December. For the first 30 days, San Diego Police will be issuing warnings. After that, they will be giving out citations.

Despite being illegal, the scooters will be geo-fenced to 3 miles-per-hour on the boardwalks. This is slower than the average walking speed and the safest way to enforce the ban.

10News met Felicia Minton and her mommy group, walking along the boardwalk in Mission Bay. She said she feels much safer since the ban went into effect.

"Is it a good thing. I think people are naturally starting to understand that it's not the safest way of transportation," Minton said.

Some people said it is not fair to be lumped in with e-scooter renters who are not good at what they do.

We also met Will Brockett, who owns and rides a device called the "One-Wheel." It resembles a skateboard with one giant motorized wheel in the center of the board.

"I just hit 1,300 miles on it," Brockett said.

He is in a Facebook group of enthusiasts who go on group rides, mostly in Mission Bay, including the boardwalk. Before the council vote, his group submitted a petition to stop the ban, arguing that as responsible owners, they take care of their rides and prioritize safety.

"You don't ride completely hammered after a Saturday night, on a dark street with no safety gear," Brockett said.

California law defines a motorized scooter as a vehicle that has two wheels, handlebars, a floor-board that can be stood up while riding, and a motor. But the local prohibition includes ALL electric devices, including e-scooters, e-bikes, Segways, and one-wheels.

"If somebody is acting with no regard for safety or pedestrians, that falls on the individual. Not on a whole group of individuals," Brockett said.

He is hoping that the ban gets reversed.

The prohibition excludes motorized devices for people with disabilities.