San Diego, CA (KGTV ) — Hundreds of people gathered at the Mission Beach boardwalk to protest against e-scooter and other motorized vehicle use on the boardwalk. Hours later, at the same location as the protest, 10News crews watched San Diego lifeguards triage a teen who later admitted to falling off an e-scooter she was riding with a friend.
“It’s called a boardWALK for a reason. And no motorized vehicles should ever be traveling along it. They should be banned,” protester Jonathan Freeman said.
These pedestrians, who enjoy the Mission Bay boardwalk said they are scared to be the next victim.
“We’re having injuries day in day out,” Mission Beach Town Council Vice President Greg Knight said.
As part of the protest, two doctors shed light on a new wave of patients coming into their clinics.
“We see concussions, cuts, broken bones, recently a severe neck injury. Someone almost lost their vision in their eye,” Sports Medicine Physician, Dr. Alexandra Myers said.
“UCLA published a study over a year, and they’ve noticed over 250 injuries. 40% are causing head injuries. 5% have elevated levels of alcohol in their blood. And 98% of people are not wearing helmets,” Myers’ colleague, Dr. Elizabeth Williams said.
Mission Beach resident Jackie Nipper said she had witnessed too many crashes.
“I’m actually meeting a woman who nearly died in front of our home on Monday. She’s a miracle. But it doesn’t have to happen,” Nipper said. “She broke her nose, she broke her hand, all right in front of my house.”
Knight said he is going to ask San Diego City Council next week to put an outright ban on electric vehicles on the boardwalk, instead of the proposed slow-down to 8mph.
“An 8mph scooter hits you, it still hurts,” Knight said.
He said he understood the benefits of e-scooters. They are environmentally friendly, they free up parking, and they are a convenient mode of transportation. But after seeing too many unsafe riders and victims, he said there needs to be stricter regulations.
“It’s just a complete Wild West out here,” Knight said.
They are hoping for what they call a common-sense regulation that prioritizes public safety. “We need to have proper enforcement and proper regulation here on the boardwalk, and this nonsense which we’ve suffered for over a year has to stop!” Freeman said to the crowd.
San Diego City Council will discuss this issue next Tuesday, April 23, 2019, at 2 pm.