Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Sunday that loosens restrictions on electric skateboards, some of them made in Riverbank.
The measure, introduced by Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen of Riverbank, allows the boards anywhere that bicycles can go, subject to local rules. They had been banned under a 1977 law aimed at gasoline-powered boards that were much noisier than today’s models.
Olsen pushed the proposal, Assembly Bill 604, at the urging of Intuitive Motion, which makes electric skateboards in a small part of the former Riverbank Army Ammunition Plant.
The products, known as ZBoards, are powered by rechargeable batteries and controlled by footpads that make them stop and go. They are priced from $599 to $1,399, and the fastest model can reach 20 miles per hour.
“My legislation updates our outdated laws to give Californians an environmentally friendly transportation option, and encourages the growth of an industry to create new jobs,” Olsen said in a news release.
The new law, which will take effect Jan. 1, allows local governments to set specific rules on use of the boards. Riders must be at least 15 years old.
Brad Phillipi of Intuitive Motion also thanked Brown in the release.
“Motorized skateboards were made illegal in the 1970s because they were largely do-it-yourself and garage-built, with loud gasoline engines,” he said. “The technology of electric skateboards today has led to short-range transportation vehicles that are lightweight, safer and much quieter, creating green technology jobs and a convenient, fun new means of transportation right here in California.”
John Holland: 209-578-2385