Riders react to first day of new regulations for dockless scooters, bikes

SAN DIEGO -- New regulations for dockless scooters and bikes in the city of San Diego started Monday, and although the biggest changes seem to fall on the companies that own the devices, riders are taking note of the differences.

One of the big changes is how fast those bikes and scooters are now allowed to go.

"It’s slow down in certain areas. I’ll be going around 11 mph, then it will go down to eight and it won’t let me speed up," Dewon Jefferson said.

"They are kind of slower than what they used to be," Marshy Sanford said.

Speed limits drop from 15 miles per hour to eight not only along the boardwalk in beach communities but also in areas like Balboa Park, Mission Bay Park and Petco Park. In other high traffic areas like the Embarcadero and areas of Little Italy, that speed comes down to three mph.

Both the city and law enforcement say they’re relying heavily on each company’s technology to do most of the enforcement. For example, the speeds will automatically be restricted in certain areas thanks to a GPS-like software.

Still, San Diego police say they will be diligent in enforcing more serious violations like riding two to a scooter or riding while under the influence. Both violations come with tickets much like you’d receive on the road, requiring riders to go to court or traffic school.

The community should also expect to see scooters being stored in a more organized fashion, especially throughout downtown in new “staging” corrals. The city will eventually designate more than 300 of those areas.

For any dockless devices left elsewhere, it will be up to the company to move them into a designated area within three hours or they’ll be impounded.

The new regulations also require the companies to obtain new six-month permits through the city, which is how the city plans to keep the companies accountable on the new rules. The city says six companies applied for their permits Monday, more of these changes are expected to take effect by the end of the week.

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