The Kelowna RCMP has issued a warning for people riding electric scooters around the city.
Kelowna is one of eight communities participating in the province-wide e-scooter pilot.
Since 2021, shared or rental e-scooters and e-bikes have been regulated by the City of Kelowna’s Micromobility Permit. The goal of micromobility is to reduce congestion and emissions by giving residents and visitors an alternative to driving for short trips.
However, the benefits of e-scooters are not without risk.
Crashes causing injury and incidents between riders and pedestrians, bikes or vehicles have been an issue in all cities where e-scooter programs are in operation.
Just before midnight on Friday, Sept. 8 in Kelowna, a 19-year-old woman crashed while riding an e-scooter and has been hospitalized as a result of the head injury that she sustained.
The RCMP would like to remind people that wearing a helmet is mandatory while riding the scooter.
In Kelowna, you must be a minimum of 16 years old to ride an e-scooter and be at least 18 years old to rent a scooter.
“E-scooters should be ridden in Kelowna following the same rules as bicycles. This means no riding on sidewalks; stick to the streets, bike lanes, and multi-use pathways,” said Kelowna RCMP media relations officer Cst. Mike Della-Paolera.
Patrons who use e-scooters are required to ride alone. Passengers are not allowed, including towing another person, vehicle, cycle, or device.
Impaired operation of an e-scooter is illegal and the RCMP has stated that they have absolutely no tolerance for the consumption of drugs or alcohol while operating an electric kick scooter.
E-scooters are not allowed in City Park and along the downtown waterfront. Additionally, people cannot ride the scooters downtown after 10:30 pm.
Failure to adhere to these rules could result in fines of up to $2,000.00.
Municipal by-laws for e-scooters varies between jurisdictions so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the by-laws of the community in which you are riding.
To learn more about the e-scooter program and the rules surrounding the operation of a scooter, visit gov.bc.ca.
For more information on Kelowna’s micromobility program and bylaws surrounding e-scooters, visit kelowna.ca.