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San Diegans call on mayor for stricter scooter regulations

SAN DIEGO -- A group of San Diegans concerned that not enough is being done to regulate rental motorized scooters walked a list of proposals to the mayor’s office Wednesday.

The group, called "Safe Walkways," says rental scooters are making it unsafe to even walk around parts of town, and that more needs to be done to hold the companies and users accountable.

Motorized rental scooters are becoming a familiar sight on the streets and sidewalks of San Diego, but for some they’ve become a nuisance and safety issue. “My neighbor was walking down the boardwalk and was hit by a scooter. They hit her and took off and she broke her arm in four places,” Bonnie Sue Eisner, a Mission Beach resident, said

The medical emergency is just one of dozens of incidents reported involving the motorized transportation.

“My dog was hit in the head by a scooter,” Jonathan Freeman told FOX 5.

Freeman is the founder of Safe Walkways. He says the scooters are a hazard to pedestrians and will only worsen if nothing is done to hold companies like Lime and Bird accountable. So he and a group of concerned residents and community leaders came up with a list of proposed regulations that they hand-delivered to San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer early Wednesday morning.

In October, Mayor Faulconer proposed that the city create an agreement for scooter rental companies with five goals of changing scooter speeds, educating riders, increasing data sharing and charging fees.

The mayor’s office responded to the Safe Walkways proposal saying in part:

"The regulations the Mayor will soon bring forward will include limiting the speed of the devices in high-pedestrian traffic areas, limiting how and where devices can be staged and parked, indemnification of the City and a requirement of liability insurance, better education of riders about local laws, data sharing and fees for the right to use our public right-of-way."

“Nobody wants police officers issuing citations," Freeman said. "So the responsibility has to be placed on the companies. They’re the only people who can solve the problem and our proposal says, 'If you sign this agreement and someone reports misuse, you will cancel their account so they won’t be able to use a scooter from you anymore.'

And we require that the scooter companies agree to place their scooters in the road, not on sidewalks.”

The new regulations being drafted by the mayor are expected to be complete by the end of January or early February.

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