Olsen’s Bill to Legalize Electric Skateboards Passes Senate

Courtesy of Assemblymember Kristin Olsen

Assemblymember Kristin Olsen’s (R-Modesto) bill to allow the use of electrically-motorized skateboards in California, which passed the Senate in a bipartisan 32 to 1 vote, is headed to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.

“State government should be nurturing innovation like electric skateboards in California,” said Olsen. “My legislation will update our outdated laws to give Californians an environmentally-friendly transportation option, and encourage the growth of an industry to create new jobs.”

Under current state law, established in 1977, the boards are banned with the for the rationale of keeping noisy gas-powered boards off the street. However, Olsen has made the case that today’s boards offer an alternative mode of transportation while being eco-friendly, quiet and safe.

“This legislation has been carefully crafted over the past two years to ensure the safety of riders and to provide communities the flexibility to regulate boards to meet their needs,” said Olsen.

AB 604 would allow electrically-motorized skateboard riders age 13 and over to operate within bicycle ways in California. It would also authorize local governments to adopt rules and regulations regarding the boards.

Geoff Larson and Ben Foreman, Co-Founders of Intuitive Motion, the manufacturers of the ZBoard, came up with the idea for the law while brainstorming for their senior project at the University of Southern California, which started with a Kickstarter fund that gained the support of more than 400 people who pledged more than $278,000. The duo’s goal was a device that is faster and easier to ride than a skateboard, and more fun and portable than a bike.

“My hope is that this bill will encourage more companies to develop similar transportation models that will help make public transportation a viable option for a wider range of commuters by making the last mile between home, work and the transit station quicker and easier to travel to,” said Foreman. 

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