SGI asking for public feedback on electric scooters
SGI is asking for the public’s feedback on the potential regulation of electric scooters on public roads.
Currently, e-scooters are not permitted on any public roads in Saskatchewan, as they are classified as unlicensed motor vehicles. However, according to SGI, e-scooters have become more prevalent in the province.
“There was some discussion recently sparked by a tweet from the Regina Police Service in the last few months that I think opened up a lot of people’s eyes that these devices aren’t really legally allowed to be operated on public roads under the traffic safety act,” said Tyler McMurchy, SGI spokesperson. “Here in Regina, due to municipal bylaw, they can’t be operated on a bike path or on a sideway either.”
According to RPS, there have been no tickets written for unlicensed e-scooters since the start of the summer.
The crown corporation plans to meet with municipalities, law enforcement, safety organizations, business owners and residents, to hear their thoughts on whether or not e-scooters should be allowed to operate on public roads.
Carolyn Kalim, manager of traffic engineering with the City of Regina, said the city will be meeting with SGI soon. She said the city would consider regulating the use of e-devices on sidewalks and bike paths in the future.
“Before jumping to that, the city needs to have a good understanding of the context for how e-scooters will be regulated, so we can understand the context that they’re really going to fit into in a municipal environment,” said Kalim.
Tyler Krause lives in Saskatoon and owns a Onewheel, a type of electric skateboard. While that device is not currently part of SGI’s feedback campaign, Krause said he believes both e-scooters and e-skateboards should be legal on Saskatchewan streets.
“When we’re travelling, I’ll take it with me and when we’re stopped I can go and grab some food. It ends up being, not only something that’s enjoyable, but also something that can actually be quite functional,” said Krause. “Plus, it’s a cleaner mode of transportation.”
Krause said he is in favour of regulations, if it can help make the use e-devices safer. He said a common misconception about e-devices, is that they aren’t as safe as push scooters or bicycles.
“You can have a bike than you can fall off and hit your head. Just because you’re adding a motor, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re making it inherently unsafe.” He said. “The rider just has to be a little bit more responsible and maybe wear a little bit more protection.
While University of Regina student Lucas Campbell doesn’t own an e-scooter, he said he sees lots of students using them on campus. He said he would consider buying an e-scooter if he could use it on the street.
“I bike to school right now and I bike to work. And I think the electric aspect of it really helps commuters. It’s not just a fitness thing, and it doesn’t just get you outside, it’s a good alternative to driving,” Campbell said.
SGI will be collecting feedback until Nov. 1, and will then decide whether to make any recommendation to government for legislative changes.
“SGI can recommend amendments or changes to the provincial government. It is up to our elected officials to decide what to do from there,” said McMurchy.
You can give your feedback by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org until Nov. 1. SGI will then decide whether to make any recommendations to government for legislative changes.