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Deputies crackdown on electric scooter use in Santa Barbara County

Posted at 9:29 AM, Nov 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-20 12:34:50-05

As electric scooters gain popularity in cities across the country, local law enforcement officers are reminding people to be careful and follow the law while operating the devices.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office released a list of guidelines Tuesday for people using the scooters in the City of Goleta.

Motorized scooters
Motorized scooters line a sidewalk. (Photo Courtesy: Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office)


Deputies say per California Vehicle code section 21235, people operating a motorized scooter cannot do any of the following:

  • Operate a motorized scooter without wearing a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet.
  • Operate a motorized scooter without a valid driver’s license or instruction permit.
  • Operate a motorized scooter with any passengers in addition to the operator.
  • Operate a motorized scooter carrying any package, bundle, or article that prevents the operator from keeping at least one hand upon the handlebars.
  • Operate a motorized scooter upon a sidewalk.
  • Leave a motorized scooter lying on its side on any sidewalk or park a motorized scooter on a sidewalk in any other position, so that there is not an adequate path for pedestrian traffic.

Electric scooters are banned in San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach but are operating in Isla Vista and Goleta.

They were briefly allowed in Santa Barbara over the summer, but the city impounded them and is now considering a pilot program to allow them under certain conditions.

Companies like Lime and Bird have launched electric scooters in cities across the country, but there have been concerns about riders getting injured, as well as a lack of regulations.

Motorized scooters
Another example of motorized scooters. (Photo Courtesy: Santa Barbara County Sheriffs Office)