Senate Approves Sen. Dodd’s Campus Vehicle Safety Bill
SACRAMENTO – Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, announced today the California Senate has approved his legislation that would improve traffic safety in the use of personal transportation devices such as electric scooters, hoverboards and Segways on university campuses.
“There’s now a proliferation of electric devices on our campuses that travel at high speeds and operate silently, providing little to no warning to pedestrians and motorists,” Sen. Dodd said. “To address this emerging technology, we must expand the authority of public colleges to set commonsense rules and regulations. Senate approval of this measure will help keep our communities safe,”
California campuses present complex transportation safety challenges with students, faculty and community members crisscrossing each other on foot, bike and car, at varying rates of speed. The emergence of new personal transportation devices such as e-bikes and e-scooters has complicated matters, raising questions around safety. For example, UC Davis has reported a recent increase in crashes. Last year, a student was killed while riding an electric personal mobility device on UC Davis property.
In response, Sen. Dodd introduced Senate Bill 295, which expands existing authority for a public agency including the University of California and California State University to establish rules and regulations for the use and storage of personal-assistive mobility devices on its campuses. It also would allow for the operation of small, fuel-efficient work vehicles on campus roads. The measure could apply to other public agencies.
SB 295, which is sponsored by the University of California, passed the full Senate this week on a unanimous, bipartisan vote. It heads next to the Assembly.
“I want to thank Sen. Dodd for taking on this measure, which will improve safety across campuses by reducing the size and weight of vehicles on our congested roads, as well as set clear guidelines for the safe and efficient use of personal mobility devices,” said UC Davis Police Chief Joe Farrow, a 43-year law enforcement veteran and former California Highway Patrol commissioner. “Unfortunately, we recently had a tragic incident on campus involving a fatal collision and an electric transportation device. This bill will allow us to prevent such catastrophic circumstances from becoming commonplace.”
Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Yolo, Sonoma, Solano, Sacramento and Contra Costa counties. More information on Senator Bill Dodd can be found at www.senate.ca.gov/dodd.