The city of San Diego is planning to crack down on local Segway tour operators after a $1.7 million injury settlement in June and another wrongful death lawsuit filed last spring claiming that a defective sidewalk caused the death of a Segway rider two years ago. According to a news report in the San Diego Union Tribune, an ordinance proposed by city officials would require Segway tour companies to apply for special permits, follow safety procedures and obtain commercial liability insurance of at least $2 million per case and $4 million per year.
New Law Aims to Reduce Injuries
Officials say they hope the new ordinance will help reduce the number of injury crashes and limit the city’s vulnerability to large payouts when Segway injuries occur. The ordinance will also lay down other rules including prohibiting Segway use by intoxicated people, requiring users under 18 to be accompanied by an adult, requiring tour guides to have a driver’s license and conducting on-site training for all riders before they embark on tours.
The new law, however, would not apply to the electric scooters that have become increasingly popular in San Diego this year. City officials are working on drafting a separate law for electric scooters, which are also reportedly resulting in major injuries.
The new legislation was spurred by a $1.7 million payout by the city to a woman who suffered a shattered pelvis in a La Jolla Segway crash three years ago. The woman was severely injured when she drove a Segway over a large area of broken and damaged street on Camino de la Costa. She needed surgery where doctors screwed in metal plates, and was left with permanent injuries and disabilities. In another wrongful death lawsuit, a man’s family alleged that a protruding sidewalk in Old Town caused his fatal Segway crash.
The Need for Regulation
There is no question about the need for stringent regulation when it comes to the operation of not just Segways, but also electric scooters, which are gaining in popularity in beach towns in Southern California where tourists love using them. It is also important that cities require these companies – be it Segway or scooter operators – to carry liability insurance so injured individuals can be adequately compensated for their injuries and losses.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Segway or electric scooter crash, contact an experienced San Diego personal injury lawyer who will remain on your side, fight for your rights and help ensure that you are fully compensated for your injuries, damages and losses.