Gentleman's first electric skateboard ride earns him a $600 ticket


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/06/13/gentlemans-first-electric-sk.html


#2

Down by law. So sad.


#3

Segways, hoverboards, are these also covered then?


#4

In a lot of places, yes.

In some places they are considered the same bicycles or scooters, elsewhere as pedestrians - do check your laws before using a gizmo like that in public!

The laws are rarely written with these things in mind so some “creative interpretations” from the police or municipal administrations is to be expected, so don’t be surprised for getting fined for riding one on a sidewalk or not having working lights (if it is considered a bike).


#5

It’s not clear to me why sidewalk use is as big a problem. Ride in the street, and you are likely to be hit by a car. If equipment used on the sidewalk has the ability to stop and avoid hitting pedestrians, that shouldn’t be an issue.

When I was a teen, they passed a state law for bicycles that forced them to be used in the street - in same the direction as car traffic. My parents made us stop riding the next day. :disappointed:


#6

This whole thing made a wrong turn back in the 19th century, with the “good roads movement”. It started as a crusade for bicycle-worthy streets, but when the automobile took off, bikes were left in the ditch.

Today, anything thats not a car takes a back seat to anything that is.


#7

Electric skateboards do not have this ability. So, can’t be on the sidewalk, can’t be on the street, so sad.


#8

So if they add brakes to version 2.0, everybody wins!


#9

Haven’t we just invented the motorised scooter? :innocent:


#10

The Motor Vehicle act defines both as motor vehicles, but they don’t meet provincial equipment safety standards for on-road use.

Safety equipment? We don’t need no stinkin safety eqipment! How dare the nanny state stop me from killing whoever gets in the way of my freedom? Join me in rebellion, car drivers! Cut your seatbelts! Kick in those turn signals!


#11

Oi, we need the obligatory XKCD.

(I think that was actually the first time I heard of electric skateboards.)

Also, the quality Abstruse Goose version:


#12

I enjoy the image of a skateboarder being flung facefirst off the board as much as the next guy, but brakes aren’t going to make people on the sidewalk any safer. Ok, a lot more than next next guy.


#13

Where I live, bicycles are forbidden from sidewalk use; it’s actually pretty dangerous for pedestrians and I totally support the use of public roads for cyclists…

…except the roads are dominated by mouth breathing alpha males in pickup trucks who will pass you at 70kph with inches of clearance while flipping you off and bellowing “get back on the sidewalk!”


#14

"It doesn’t really make a lot of sense."
I’m not sure why he’s acting so confused by this. It’s simply not street-legal. It’s a problem with many of these motorized scooters and skateboards. It may be absurd in this case (it certainly makes some sense with the scooters with internal combustion engines I’ve seen, though), but it’s not like it’s hard to understand, even if the legal enforcement mechanism is a catch-22.

I remember when a co-worker got hassled by cops who threatened him with a ticket because he was riding his skateboard to work on the sidewalk. They insisted that he needed to ride in in the street, like a bike, despite there being no such law for bikes there. I asked him if he pointed out that on that very road, literally two blocks closer to the office, the marked bike lane was on the sidewalk. He didn’t - which was probably wise as that just would have pissed off the cops.


#15

Would he have been hassled if it weren’t electric? Did he have the option to turn off the boost motor and ride it like a skateboard sans motor?

I’m starting to see a lot more ‘assisted’ bikes and skateboards where I live as I walk to work; as long as they can travel safely without running over pedestrians, no worries.


#16

Would he have been hassled if it weren’t electric? Did he have the option to turn off the boost motor and ride it like a skateboard sans motor?

He tried to make that argument with the ticketing officer, who said “nice try.”

I’m starting to see a lot more ‘assisted’ bikes and skateboards where I live as I walk to work; as long as they can travel safely without running over pedestrians, no worries.

Here’s a report that says the regenerative brakes on that model stop braking when the battery is overcharged.


#17

Where I live, there aren’t that many people on the sidewalks - except in central shopping zones, where I expect skateboarders could pick 'em up and walk until they reach the nearly-deserted blocks all around town. Cyclists can certainly walk their bikes through crowded areas, too. Pedestrians should have the right of way.

The road domination by cars is why I prefer sidewalk use. Most roads in my area barely have a shoulder - some have none. Even where bike lanes have been added, cyclists are injured (sometimes killed) by drivers who open their car door without looking in the mirror first. A dear friend of mine had a son who commuted to work by cycling. After a decade without incident, he was hit from behind by a truck and killed. Sidewalk use (with caution) seems better than the risk of injury from passing cars.


#18

More like a very small Segway.


#19

That I want to see.


#20

Ta daaa!