Mission Beach man fed up with unsafe scooter-riding catches crashes on camera

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SAN DIEGO — A Mission Beach man says motorized scooter crashes along the boardwalk outside his home have become so much of the norm in the last year that he began catching many of them on his personal cameras and uploading the videos to YouTube.

Paul Wilson has had a front row seat to the sunset in Mission Beach for nearly two decades, but within the last year, he says “you don’t walk and look at the sunset or the surf — you’re on guard!”

Just trying to take a stroll outside his home has become a hazard.

“The U-turns in front of another scooter going full speed are creating the most violent crashes,” Wilson said.

Wilson just put together a video of near misses and actual crashes that all happened on Sunday right in front of his home — and he says those were just the ones loud enough to catch his attention.

Crashes aren’t the only thing causing a commotion along the boardwalk. Some scooters will make a loud, alarming sound if someone tries to move it without paying for a ride.

“It’s like a smoke alarm going off next-door. It gets your attention, it wakes you up,” Wilson said.

As seen on Wilson’s videos, riders also don’t appear to be following general safety rules. Rarely is someone wearing a helmet. While helmets are now optional for anyone over the age of 18, according to scooter user agreements, anyone under the age of 18 isn’t supposed to ride a scooter — period. Yet Wilson’s videos show plenty of kids riding scooters and even adults with a child accompanying them on the same scooter. The scooters are designed for single riders.

Wilson says he’s not against motorized scooters, but he is in favor of safety and hopes the videos will bring awareness.

“The Mission Beach boardwalk is just a few miles long. There’s got to be dozens or hundreds a week that are happening out here and someone is going to get killed,” said Wilson.

Residents report seeing officers enforcing scooter rules and issuing citations over the summer but haven’t seen them much since.

FOX 5 reached out to San Diego Police Department to see if it had a new approach to scooter enforcement in the new year but has not heard back.

Wilson says he has a domain for the scooter videos (www.scooterfail.com) though he has not started using the site just yet.

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