Volusia County leaders propose changes to electric bikes, scooter use on beach

Council must formally vote to make ordinance official

FILE - In this Friday, Sept. 13, 2019 file photo, electric rental scooters lie on a sidewalk in Berlin, Germany. Britain is giving the green light for trials of electric scooter rental programs, as authorities look for ways to help people get moving while maintaining distance and easing pressure on public transit. The transport department on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 unveiled new regulations that take effect on the weekend and pave the way for e-scooter rentals in Britain. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, file) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – The Volusia County Council introduced a proposal Tuesday to allow electric and other motorized vehicles on certain parts of the beach.

Council leaders suggested allowing use of electric bikes, one-wheel scooters and the like to operate in designated spots by the beach.

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The county’s code currently allows cars, trucks, motorcycles on drivable portions of the beach as long as they are registered and titled by the state. Since e-bikes, electric scooters and similar vehicles can’t be registered with the state of Florida, they currently can’t drive on beaches under the county ordinance.

County leaders pointed to recent state legislation that gives e-bike and electric scooter operators the same rights as bicyclists. As bikes are allowed on the beach, the council figured it would be appropriate to extend the same rights to similar motorized devices as well, according to a news release.

Under the suggested proposal, such electric and motorized vehicles would be allowed to operate both in the driving lanes and outside of the lanes as well as in the traffic-free zones outside of the natural areas. The devices wouldn’t be permitted in the dunes or the natural, or conservation areas of the beach that are off-limits to vehicles in order to continue protecting endangered species as required by the county’s habitat management plan, according to Volusia County codes.

As proposed, e-bikes and other electric motorized devices would be permitted as long as they follow all other vehicle regulations such as speed and times of day for use on the beach.

The proposal must come back to the council for a vote at a later time to make an ordinance amendment official, which would finalize the policy.

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