Skip to main content

Woman Breaks Leg Riding Electric Scooter As San Diego Considers Scooters Regulations

People ride electric scooters on the Mission Beach boardwalk, July 3, 2018.

Photo by Roland Lizarondo

Above: People ride electric scooters on the Mission Beach boardwalk, July 3, 2018.

A woman broke her leg Monday night riding an electric scooter in Mission Hills, police said.

The 46-year-old woman was looking down at her phone’s GPS when she lost control and crashed, fracturing her femur, San Diego police Officer John Buttle said.

The accident, which happened around 9:30 p.m. Monday on Pacific Highway near Interstate 5, comes just as the San Diego City Council is planning to vote Tuesday on a regulatory package for dockless electric scooters, bicycles and the companies that own them.

The regulations would reduce the speed of dockless scooters from 15 mph to 8 mph in high-traffic areas such as Spanish Landing and near Petco Park, and as low as 3 mph along the Embarcadero and the Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade.

Scooter companies such as Bird, Lime and Razor would be required to use geofencing technology on their scooters to limit speeds and parking abilities in designated areas around the city. Bird already uses geofencing to reduce scooter speeds in areas such as the Santa Monica Beach Bike Path.

Scooter riders would be banned from parking the devices near hospitals, schools, beach area boardwalks, the Petco Park perimeter and the north and south legs of the Embarcadero.

The city also plans to designate scooter parking zones along city streets so as to decrease the number of scooters parked on sidewalks.

In downtown, scooter riders and companies would only be able to park devices in groups of four, with at least 40 feet between groups.

The city would also require that scooter companies obtain a six-month operational permit with a to-be-determined fee and pay $150 per scooter or bike each year to continue operating in San Diego. Companies could renew permits in January or June, at which time they could negotiate operating terms like fleet size, which they are not currently required to report to the city.

The council's Active Transportation and Infrastructure Committee unanimously approved the package in February and requested that it return to the committee within six months of its implementation for further review and to ensure the city is keeping pace with the evolution of technologies like geofencing.

The council is scheduled to discuss and vote on the regulations at its 2 p.m. session.

The woman was taken to an area hospital for treatment of a fractured femur, Buttle said.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.