Electric skateboarder speaks out after first ride ends in $600 fine
A Vancouver electric skateboard enthusiast is speaking out after being fined $600 simply for riding his board on a city street.
“I still can’t believe it when I look at (the ticket),” Daniel Dahlberg told CTV Vancouver on Sunday, describing his reaction as “mouth open, jaw hit the floor.”
Electric skateboards, or e-boards, look much like conventional skateboards but are propelled by an electric motor usually located on the underside of the vehicle. The rider controls the speed of the board, which can reach up to 35 km/h, using a handheld controller.
While they are growing in popularity around the world, B.C.’s Motor Vehicle Act technically views the boards as cars. That means it’s illegal to ride e-boards on public property without insurance. But no insurers will cover e-boards.
“I asked (the officer)…how do I get insurance?” Dahlberg said. “Then what he told me is that I can’t. It doesn’t exist.”
The store where Dahlberg purchased the board said it’s the first time it has encountered this problem.
“The ticket was a surprise to me,” said Graham Peat of Boarder Labs & CalStreets.
The store said it has sold hundreds of others and said that it does have a warning on its website that the products are only authorized on private property.
But the retailer is also urging the province to change regulations to allow the boards on bike lanes, sidewalks and city streets, a step the state of California took two years ago.
“This is something that’s new,” Peat said. “Every new technology’s always had a fight to be recognized.”
In the meantime, some e-board riders are defying provincial law in spite of the stiff fine.
“It’s something that the city and the government should be embracing,” electric skateboard enthusiast Chris Bennett told CTV Vancouver. “This is new technology. We’ve got to move away from oil and gas.”
As for Dahlberg, he’s fighting the ticket and returning his board.
“Right now, I don’t feel comfortable with something that can land me a $600 fine,” he said.
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Scott Roberts