Saskatchewan

Regina residents, city council members call for revisions to e-vehicle bylaw

Residents of Regina, along with city councillors, say the bylaw restricting people from operating electric scooters and 'hoverboards' in public is outdated.

Residents call current bylaw ‘outdated’

E-scooters among the vehicles that can't be registered and are therefore prohibited by a Regina bylaw. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

Residents of Regina, along with city councillors, say the bylaw restricting people from operating electric scooters and 'hoverboards' in public is outdated.

Last week, the Regina Police Service tweeted that use of e-vehicles, such as fully motorized scooters and Segways, is not legally allowed in public areas.

Since vehicles like one-wheeled skateboards and 'hoverboards' cannot be registered, it is illegal to use them outside of private properties. The police said a Regina city bylaw prohibits unlicensed vehicles from being used on roadways, highways or bike paths, or in public places like parks.

Andrew Stevens is the councillor for Ward 3. He said while he was happy the Regina police tweet started a conversation, he believes the information provided was misinterpreted by the public as a complete ban on e-vehicles.

In actuality, Stevens said, the ban is on unregistered vehicles from being on paths, which he says is quite sensible.

"I think this is really just a matter of a bylaw being out of date and certainly needs to be revised given how many people are looking at different ways of getting around the city," he said.

He said there have been conversations at a municipal level about revising the bylaw and adjusting the language.

Stevens said SGI has a role to play in this issue, as it needs to adjust provincial legislation that is preventing these motorized vehicles from being on the roadways.

He said on a municipal level the city needs to look at permitting usage of these motorized vehicles on bike paths and multi-use paths, but that sidewalks would be more difficult.

"This is something that has been on our radar for some time, I'm not sure that was getting through," he said. "It's unfortunate that everyone saw this as a ban and an attack on these kinds of electrified devices." 

Regina's Michelle Grodecki said her sons worked really hard to save up money and were able to buy two hoverboards right before the pandemic.

"That was kind of their escape throughout this whole lockdown is that they've been taking their hoverboard [to the] greenspace right by our house," Grodecki said.

She said she was disappointed by the recent realization that her sons are not allowed to go down to the park with their friends to ride their hoverboards.

"The moment we've taken that away from them, it was just like devastating," she said.

"That's a lot of money that they put into having those for them to be taken away because of an outdated, antiquated bylaw."

With files from The Morning Edition

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