If you have been to the beach, downtown, mall or just about anywhere outside of your house in San Diego, then you have likely seen the influx of electric scooters and bikes available for short-term use.
Rideshare services such as Bird and Lime provide their customers with the ability to walk up to any one of their vehicles, rent it with the tap of a button and leave the vehicle in a safe location once they are finished using them.
The unique “dockless” system provides thousands of San Diego residents and tourists with a fun, environmentally friendly way to maneuver through congested streetways. However, many San Diego residents, including those with disabilities, have voiced concern over the piles of scooters that are left along the city’s sidewalks.
To ensure your safety and the safety of others on the streets and walkways, it is important for riders to be familiar with the laws and rules that govern electronic rideshare scooters.
In 2019, San Diego City Council adopted stricter rules for the use of approved dockless scooters in an effort to reduce the number of accidents and nuisances caused by careless riders.
The new regulations include a maximum speed limit of 8 miles per hour in the following high traffic areas:
In addition, two downtown areas are considered “no ride zones,” which includes the North and South Embarcadero and at Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade. The speed limit in those areas is reduced to just 3 miles per hour.
Rideshare companies that operate the dockless vehicles are responsible for slowing their vehicles in those designated zones through geofencing technology. In addition, they must alert riders when they enter no-ride zones.
Another new electric scooter rule regulates where scooters may be parked or staged when they are not in use. New rules state that no more than four scooters may be parked within a 40-foot area. The new rule is designed to cut down on the number of scooters parked in one location, hopefully reducing the occurrences of blocked sidewalks and obstructed walkways.
In addition, rideshare companies force riders to scroll through and acknowledge local and state vehicle laws before each ride. Electric scooters will now include a label that states “Riding on sidewalks is prohibited.”
Lastly, rideshare companies that own electric scooters are now required to pay a fee for each scooter kept in a specified area and provide liability insurance on each device in the event of an accident.
As more people use electronic scooters in San Diego, lawmakers hope that these new regulations will protect protect pedestrians and allow scooter riders to safely navigate crowded streets.
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