San Jose Considers New Safety Regulations for E-Scooters

Mayor Sam Liccardo and members of the San Jose City Council last week proposed regulations to rein in how electric scooter companies operate in the city.

In a memo released by the Rules and Open Government Committee, app-driven electric scooters, known as e-scooters, must comply with new “geo-fencing” technology in order for companies such as Lime and Bird, to lawfully ride around in the city proper. “Geo-fencing” is technology that would halt or slow down scooters in certain geographic locations, such as sidewalks.

In a press conference toward the end of last week, Liccardo offered to provide a “collaborative solution” in lieu of the kind of e-scooter ban that has taken effect in recent months in other cities, including San Francisco and Seattle.

The new rules would require e-scooter companies to share data with cities, make it easier for community members to report incidents, and to provide messages to new riders about safe riding practices.

In an emailed statement, Lime said it is “working with Mayor Liccardo and his staff, and appreciate his commitment to inexpensive, clean and inclusive forms of transportation. We share the same goal of reducing congestion in San Jose.”

When asked about the use of geo-fencing as a possible solution, a spokesman from Lime said the company is open to using technology to curb sidewalk riding. But he insisted that the kind technology touted by Liccardo is still under development, and the company wants to make sure it works before rolling it out.

Bird spokeswoman Rachel Bankston said the company plans to work collaboratively with the city on potential solutions.

“San Jose and Bird have a shared vision of a community with fewer cars, less traffic and reduced carbon emissions,” she wrote in an email to San Jose Inside. “It’s clear San Jose is a leading-edge city eager to embrace innovative ways to better connect this growing community. We look forward to continuing our work with Mayor Liccardo and the city staff to ensure the community and its visitors safely embrace our affordable, environmentally friendly transportation option.”

According to the city’s proposal, e-scooter companies will have until July 1 to comply with new rules, or they will be denied permits to continue operating in San Jose.

The new regs come after spikes in e-scooter-related injuries and deaths throughout the U.S. Indeed, a Washington Post report shows an increase in trips to the emergency room from injuries related to e-scooters in the past year.

Additionally, while there have been no apparent increase in serious scooter-related injuries in Santa Clara County due to the scooters, local officials are working on new DUI rules for the micro-mobility vehicles.

The proposed rules on geo-fencing will be heard by the Rules Committee this Wednesday. New regulations will be considered by the full council on Dec. 18.

9 Comments

  1. > The new regs come after spikes in e-scooter-related injuries and deaths throughout the U.S. Indeed, a Washington Post report shows an increase in trips to the emergency room from injuries related to e-scooters in the past year.

    So, where are the official government statistics on BICYCLE-RELATED injuries and deaths?

    The absurd United Nations Agenda 21 bike lanes are extremely dangerous and it is a cosmic certainty that there has been a “spike” in bike lane-related injuries and death.

    I was referred to a low-level staffer in City Hall a number of months ago in response to my inquiry about bike-lane safety data. I was advised by Mr. Low Level Staffer that he didn’t have that information, and maybe he could get it for me in a month or so.

    All the lawyers in the country must be busy, because the City of San Jose is plump, overfed sitting duck for its criminal stupidity in allowing 500 horsepower muscle cars driven at eighty miles an hour by hopped up potheads zoom by eight year old kiddies in bike lanes.

    • I seldom see anyone in the green bike lanes you’re talking about. They are a waste of space. 99% of bicyclist I see ride on the sidewalk, in the middle of the road or on the wrong side of the street. They don’t stop at stop signs, red lights or yield to pedestrians. They want to be treated like cars but have the right of way of pedestrians. The bicycle accidents aren’t caused by cars, they’re caused by moronic bicyclists.

      • Yep. Daily I watch Willow Glen (adult, not,children) bikers blow through stop signs or turn left across traffic at intersections without so much a glance over their shoulders. They are unpredictable and untrustworthy road and sidewalk menaces.

  2. I would also like to see the data on bicycle accidents, both in bicycle lanes, and before the lanes took over half of our street lanes in many cases.

    Every argument for bicycle lanes has been falsified, except for “safety.” The claim is that the lanes are necessary because bicycle riders are more safe than without them.

    But I wonder. Because the lanes make the peddlers more complacent, for one thing. And for another reason: if the “safety” argument was valid, the peddlar contingent would be waving the accident data in our faces. Instead, it’s kept well hidden.

    And now, with the proliferation of scooters using bicycle lanes, this information is even more critical. It’s not just the scooter pilots who are scofflaws; bicycle riders are traffic law opportunists, too. They always have been.

    And let me be the first to say that scooters and bicycles should be licensed, and they should both have to pay a reasonable annual registration fee; say, half of the average car registration fee.

    Our city streets and county roads were built for motor vehicles, not for bicycles. They wouldn’t even exist without cars. But drivers have always been gracious in allowing bicycle riders to share our roads. Not so the peddlar gang.

    Now the bicycle crowd has decided to get extremist. Over the past couple years, bicycle gangs have become a major nusiance in San Francisco — and wouldn’t you know it, now they’re a pain in the butt here, too.

    I recall reading about a lady speaking at a council meeting last year, complaining about bicycle lanes taking away our traffic lanes. The next speaker got up, raised his voice and said, “We’re putting you (drivers) on a road diet!” (Note that “we” refers to a small minority of road users.)

    So now we know what “road diets” are. They are the culmination of the elder Rod Diridon’s plan. Diridon tried to force commuters out of their cars about 25 years ago. But drivers didn’t want to hear about it, so Diridon put together a long term plan intended to stick it to drivers. We see the result in these “road diets.”

    But commuters still don’t want to peddle! So the one in 400 commuters who use the bicycle lanes get to thumb their nose at the drivers — who are stuck in a single lane because a bicycle rider *might* use it.

    And their “safety” argument is also bogus, or they’d show us the accident record.

    Finally, I have an electric scooter. I use it to go to the store, mail letters, etc. Turnabout is fair play, and I don’t mind registering my scooter — just so every bicycle and scooter has to do the same.

    This is what happens when one Party gets total control. Nothing is moderate, and those in power become dictators. It’s human nature.

    Diridon’s plan requires that 40% of commuters must take ‘alternate’ transportation to work by 2040 (that’s only 11 years away!) But that doesn’t mean 60% can still drive, since plenty of commuters will be medically unable to peddle bicycles…

    Get ready for our Brave New World, folks. It’s called social engineering; the Left has our lives all planned out (and FYI, IANAR!)

    But is that what people really want?

    • Hey Smokey, you mail letters, and you own an electric scooter? I can’t tell if you’re an old baby boomer or a millennial. With your thought that 2040 is just 11 years from now, I’m kinda thinking you’re the old baby boomer. Anyway…

      I like the green bike lanes. One thing that keeps a lot of people off their bikes as commuting vehicles is safety. Car versus bike, bike always loses. Those green lanes give a lot of protection from the distracted driver to the biker. Reason you don’t see anyone in them is because there aren’t any traffic jams with bikes. They just cruise on through while the drivers are stuck in traffic, swiping through their apps.

      • Hey SCC RESIDENT,

        Thanx for the arithmetic correction, musta been late. You wrote, “Those green lanes give a lot of protection from the distracted driver to the biker.”

        Do they? How can you tell?

        The point is that bicycle safety info is being kept from the public. For all we know, the “road diets” result in more traffic accidents, not fewer. But until verifiable accident information is provided, it’s all speculation.

        You also wrote, “there aren’t any traffic jams with bikes.”.

        That’s true. Because the traffic jams are being CAUSED by restricting our formerly two-lane roads to single lane thoroughfares.

        But for what?! So one peddler out of every 400 commuters can feel safe? It doesn’t even matter if they are safe; we don’t know that. But if bicyclists get the pleasure of feeling safe at the expense of immense added congestion, is that fair to the vast majority, most of whom are drivers?

        The world is turning into a parody of ‘the tail wagging the dog’: rather than majority rules, now we’re approaching a world where a very tiny minority gets everything their way — and the majority can go pound sand.

        Welcome to Brave New World. Kinda sucks, doesn’t it?

  3. The e-scooter providers and manufacturers are not the problem. The problem is the moronic riders of these new menaces to pedestrians.

  4. Oh goody some thing new to gripe about.
    A year ago I got a $25 ticket because my bumper was hanging out 1 inch over into the sidewalk, car being parked in my driveway on a dead end street 5 ft. from the end of the street. Logic being I was blocking the public access to my, property, a 8pm at night ?

    Lets move forward If these scooter are on a public sidewalk and are a motor vehicle that must be ridden in the street or at least bicycle lanes, shouldn’t they be give $25 fines for blocking sidewalks. Traffic tickets for running red lights and going the wrong way down a pubic road. There are helmet laws not enforced. How about a drivers license or voter ID.
    Shouldn’t there be a California license plate on the front and back? A light for riding at night. This is a business should there not taxes collected to be used on repairing the public roads and infrastructure painting lines and blocking streets with traffic cones. Down town they should be parked in public metered parking spaces and charged a fee, and fined when the meter runs out.

    Time for these freeloaders to pay up or take a hike and their patrons jailed for killing them selves.

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