Residents Question Scooter's Geofencing Regulations - NBC 7 San Diego

Residents Question Scooter's Geofencing Regulations

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Geofencing and Dockless Scooters

    For some people implementing geofencing technology was suppose to be one step closer to a better regulation but there is still a lot of grey area. NBC 7's Lauren Coronado has more. (Published Sunday, July 14, 2019)

    Weeks after new regulations for dockless scooters and bicycles went into effect for San Diego, some residents are concerned that the rules aren't being enforced. 

    For some people, implementing geofencing technology was supposed to be one step closer to better regulation. But there's still a lot of gray area like who is responsible for enforcing the new set of rules.

    “We're going 16 miles per hour," confessed one rider at the Mission Beach Boardwalk, where speed is meant to be limited to 8 mph through geofencing.

    "I'd like to see the damn things banned, all together. At least get them off pedestrian walkways. That's a good start," said Paul Wilson, resident of Ocean Front Walk.

    He's caught several scooter violators and a handful of crashes on-camera, something he said he expected to see less of since geofencing was implemented on July 1st.

    Geofencing technology is used in designated areas throughout the city and it automatically reduces riders’ speeds or prevents them from riding there altogether.

    "My original on the geofencing was, ‘hey this is a good thing, at least they'll be going 8 mph,’" said Wilson.

    It's a virtual way scooter rental companies can enforce speed -- parking zones and areas you can't ride in.

    But Wilson says riders are finding loopholes around the technology and privately-owned scooters aren't regulated at all.

    Angelo Sardina said he rides Birds regularly and has noticed some changes but seems to be getting around the geofence regulated speed rule.

    "I've been going 20 mph on this on the boardwalk. So, I don't think there's a restriction on that," Sardina said.

    But other riders say the scooters are slowing down in designated areas.

    A city spokesperson tells NBC 7 permitted scooter operators are required to renew their permits every six months. If a company isn't complying they won't be doing business in town.

    The San Diego Police Department is the designated agency to enforce speed violators.

    A lieutenant NBC 7 spoke with said, there are no designated officers looking for speeders right now, and the department works on a priority basis.