At the December 1 Coronado City Council meeting, members rolled out some new regulations regarding the rental requirements of Segways. While all councilmembers agreed that regulations were needed and that the devices should be kept off of the sidewalks on the city's main strip, Orange Avenue, Mayor Casey Tanaka wanted to revise the age requirement to rent the devices, proposing that renters should be at least 18 years old instead of the staff-recommended age of 16.
"I still strongly prefer 18," said Tanaka during council discussion. "People who are 16 and 17 are just as likely to be zooming through the town. It's because they are not accompanied that they are emboldened to do things that get the police calls."
After Tanaka's statement, councilwoman Carrie Downey asked why issuing 16-year-olds driver's licenses is acceptable but allowing them to rent a Segway is not.
"There is a lot more regulation that goes into driving a car than riding a Segway," answered Tanaka.
First-term councilmember Michael Woiwode disagreed with Tanaka's suggestions of age and weight restrictions. "What are we going to do, ask the police to stop people who look like they are 90 pounds and weigh them?" Asked Woiwode. "We're talking about something that's not going to be enforced...then why bother with it. The real enforcement is going to come from the people who rent the equipment. It's us trying to micromanage something that is not City business."
Woiwode made a motion to amend the ordinance by prohibiting minors under the age of 16 from renting Segways without adult supervision and striking the weight requirement from the ordinance. That motion passed unanimously, despite Mayor Tanaka's objections.