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Tiburon to look at safety rules for ‘electric mobility devices’

Electric-scooter riders zip past pedestrians on the Old Rail Trail on May 18. The Tiburon Parks, Open Space and Trails Commission is looking at potential updates to safety rules for electric-powered devices. (Elliot Karlan photo / For The Ark)

In March, an 84-year-old Tiburon man was knocked down and suffered a broken arm after a young cyclist on an electric bike struck him on the Old Rail Trail. The same month, an e-bike rider knocked down a pedestrian in San Anselmo. Last September, a man died after being hit by an e-bike on the Mill Valley-Sausalito Pathway.

With use of electric bikes, scooters, boards and other motorized low-speed vehicles on the rise — along with the nuisance reports to match — Tiburon parks commissioners plan to take a look at potential changes to the rules of the road for local bicycle and pedestrian paths.

At its May 16 meeting, Parks, Open Space and Trails Commission Chair Timothy Burr and Commissioner Liz Judge were appointed to a subcommittee that will review rules in nearby towns and form recommendations to change Tiburon’s ordinances. However, commissioners agreed it seems responsible riding and enforcement, rather than electric devices, pose the biggest problems.

“I still go out there, and the guys in the full getup are going 30 (mph), and they jam right past you,” Vice Chair Isaac Nikfar said. “And that’s faster than the kids (on e-bikes). Those guys are actually going faster than the kids in most cases.”

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