SF laws aren't keeping up with new electric scooter technology

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Ride shares, bike shares and now electric scooters. The tech world has been quickly changing how we commute and now San Francisco lawmakers are trying to keep up with the latest trend. (KGO-TV)

Ride shares, bike shares and now electric scooters. The tech world has been quickly changing how we commute and now San Francisco lawmakers are trying to keep up with the latest trend.

"You just stand on it and it goes," exclaimed Tina Traum, who tried out an electric scooter for the first time today. Like many riders, she says it's a quick, convenient and inexpensive way to get around the city. The scooters have a max speed of 15 miles-per-hour and have been popping up on San Francisco street corners for the past three weeks.

RELATED: Dockless scooters, bikes have bumpy launch in SF, San Jose, cities hustle to regulate

Three companies, Lime Bike, Bird and Spin, have rolled out dockless scooters that you find and rent through an app. But city rules have not caught up with the technology. SFMTA asked all three companies to submit operation plans by Friday. Lime Bike sent ABC7 their plan, which details how they educate riders on the rules of the road.

Lime Bike says they want their riders to obey state laws, like wearing helmets, but the scooters don't come equipped with helmets and nobody ABC7 spoke to Sunday, brought their own helmet to wear. "I don't normally have a helmet on me for obvious reasons and so I think either they should provide one or maybe it should be enforced a little more," said Drew Moss who was riding a Spin scooter. One Lime scooter user did show ABC7 where you can collect a free helmet, but that feature is only available in Union City and San Diego.

RELATED: BART dealing with shared LimeBikes causing hazards at stations

And as popular as the scooters seem to be, not everyone is a fan. "I've seen them in the most wild places, in trash cans, disassembled, all over the bike lanes, in the streets and it's only been a couple weeks, you know," explains Chris Longenecker who drives a pedicab. He says he's seen riders break all of Lime's rules, like not riding on the sidewalk and parking responsibly, "they're strewn about all over the Embarcadero and I'm concerned that I'll accidentally run one over which will endanger me or my passengers."

The Board of Supervisors is currently drafting a scooter permitting system, while more and more seem to scoot down city streets.

Click here to read a letter from the SFMTA on dockless bikes and scooters.

Click here for more stories, photos, and video on bikes.
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trafficbikesciti bikee-bikestechnologyregulationsmass transittransportationpublic transportationSan FranciscoSan Jose
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