San Diego

As Ride Companies Face Stricter Rules, Personal Scooters Remain Unregulated

Days after new regulations on dockless scooter and bike companies went into effect across the county, a new group of riders have found a way to scoot around the rules.

On Monday, the City of San Diego began reviewing permits for six ride companies like Bird, Lime, and Jump -- all of who must follow the new laws, including reduced speed limits and banned drop-off zones.

However, the rules don’t apply to personal scooters -- so if you own it, you are virtually unregulated.

Harrison Tate showed NBC 7 his sleek, new Swagger 5 scooter.

“They max out at about 15 miles an hour, and they're roughly around $500, $800 -- depending on what model,” he said.

Monday’s new regulations reduced the speed limit for ride companies’ scooters to 3 miles per hour in areas like Little Italy and the Embarcadero, while areas like Balboa Park and Petco Park have speeds maxed out at 8 miles per hour.

Riders will also begin to receive push alerts from the dockless bike and scooter companies notifying them when they’re in a forbidden area.

But Harrison on his Swagger 5 can cruise around, unregulated, anywhere.

“I feel like if you're schooled enough, there shouldn't be a law because it's a boardwalk -- bikes ride more than 8 miles an hour, so why can't scooters go faster?” he said.

Though not everyone has the need for speed, including Paul Wilson who owns a home on the boardwalk.

“100- to 200-pound vehicles going down the boardwalk -- if it's going 15 to 10 miles an hour, it will really hurt,” he said.

Wilson set up cameras outside of his home, which he told NBC 7 have caught dangerous riding, bad accidents and injuries, and it’s even spotted the unregulated scooters like the Swagger 5.

“Those things will go by here 25 to 30 miles an hour. There's no restrictions on them whatsoever. The police don't seem to have any power to do anything about it,” Wilson said.

A police spokesperson said officers don't make a distinction between private and public scooters when issuing citations, but riders should be mindful of posted speed limits. Additionally, dockless rides will be policed through a complaint-based system which some fear will take a while to gain traction.

To make a complaint, you can contact the police department or the specific rideshare companies.

Click here to see a list of all California laws that took effect Monday.

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