Dockless scooters
Dockless scooters in downtown San Diego. Photo by Chris Jennewein

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced a suite of proposed regulations Thursday intended to improve dockless scooter safety and education.

The regulations would require dockless scooter companies to limit the maximum speed of scooters in certain areas of the city, give monthly data reports to the city including data on things like reported incidents and trip information and educate scooter riders on local and state traffic laws as well as the cost of being cited for violating relevant laws. The companies would also have to indemnify the city from liability claims in the event a scooter rider is injured within city limits and obtain a permit from the city with accompanying operational fees.

“The rapid evolution of this industry is evidence of the popularity of dockless mobility devices as great options for folks who would like to leave their car at home,” Faulconer said. “As with many disruptive new technologies, there are issues that need to be addressed. First and foremost, public safety is our top priority and that will be reflected in these common- sense regulations.”

Scooter companies such as Lime, Bird and Razor would have to use geofencing technology to limit scooter speeds to 8 mph in the city’s high- traffic zones like the San Diego Convention Center promenade, Balboa Park, NTC Park and the Embarcadero downtown. Currently, dockless scooters can reach speeds up to roughly 15 mph.

The City Council’s Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee plans to discuss the proposed regulations at its 9 a.m. meeting on Oct. 24.

“I’m pleased to have worked with Mayor Faulconer to develop important safety standards for the protection of scooter riders and pedestrians,” said City Councilwoman and Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee Member Lorie Zapf. “My goal has always been to slow down the speed of the scooters and address safety concerns. With this proposal I feel confident that we will see changes for the better.”

–City News Service