Electric skateboard rider shocked by $600 fine
Published Monday, June 12, 2017 8:31AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 12, 2017 4:10PM EDT
A Vancouver man was shocked to receive a $600 fine for riding his new electric skateboard on city streets.
Daniel Dahlberg was cruising on what appears, to the untrained eye, to be a regular skateboard when he was pulled over by police.
That’s when, Dahlberg says, Vancouver police handed him a $600 ticket for failing to have insurance under the motor vehicle act.
“Mouth open, jaw hit the floor. Still can’t believe it when I look at it,” Dahlberg told CTV Vancouver.
It turns out, in the eyes of the provincial law, his skateboard, which can travel at speeds of up to 35 km/h, is technically classified as a motor vehicle.
But, as Dahlberg found out, they can’t be insured as such – even if the owner wants to.
“I asked him […] ‘how do I get insurance?’ and then what he told me is, I can’t. It doesn’t exist,” he said.
The store where Dahlberg purchased the skateboard has sold hundreds of others, despite their website noting that owners check the laws and regulations in their area, to see if they are allowed in public roads.
However, Boarders Labs & CalStreets store told CTV Vancouver that they are urging the province to update legislation to allow the boards to be used on bike lanes, sidewalks and city streets.
“Every new technology has had a fight to be recognized,” said Graham Peat, Boarders Labs & CalStreets store owner.
In the meantime, Dahlberg has returned his $2,500 board and is currently fighting the ticket.
“I don’t feel comfortable riding something that’s gonna land me a $600 fine,” he said.
Dahlberg said support for his pending legal battle has been growing online, and claims he has already received some courtroom tips from retired lawyers.
“I think I have a pretty good case here,” he told CTV News Channel. “I see no reason why we shouldn’t be using devices like this on the road that are zero carbon emission and good for the environment.”
Dahlberg also notes that he did not have the skateboard’s motor engaged when the officer stopped him at the bottom of a hill.
“I can’t see how a ticket of this magnitude can be justified for what I did,” he said. “I know friends who have received speeding tickets for less (money).”
Meanwhile, other e-board riders aren’t deterred by the hefty fines.
“It’s something the city and government should be embracing. This is new technology. We have to move away from oil and gas,” said electric skateboard enthusiast Chris Bennett.
According to B.C.’s Motor Vehicle Act, motorized skateboards may only be operated where the act doesn’t apply, such as private property and trails or pathways.
With files from CTV Vancouver’s Scott Roberts