Governor Snyder signs the use of electric skateboards into law
BENZIE COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- People may soon be seeing electric skateboards being used on northern Michigan streets thanks to a law signed by Governor Snyder this week.
The new law comes after the boards created a controversy in one northern Michigan community.
Owners at the Beach Nut Surf Shop in Frankfort have been using the boards since they opened.
The shop rents and sells beach supplies, including skateboards, paddle boards and surf boards.
"We have a trailer that we pull when they rent a stand up paddle board from us we take the board to the waters edge, paddle around, when they leave they leave it at the waters edge and we go and pick them up," said Larry Bordine, Beach Nut Surf Shop Co-Owner.
However, according to law enforcement, the boards did not fall under the state law for motorized vehicles allowed on streets.
After some challenges, conversations and countless city council meetings over the past several years, the owners alongside employee, 18-year-old Alex Thayer, decided to change that.
"We went to our representative, Curt VanderWall and asked what he could do for us he sponsored a bill and sent it through the house that would clarify the position of electric skateboards and how they could be used on the road."
"Through their due diligence and their hard work and their effort now everyone in Michigan will have an opportunity to determine where this activity will occur and how it will interact with other modes of transportation," said Josh Mills, City of Frankfort Superintendent.
Tourists said the boards are fitting for the beach-town vibe.
"They seem to be safe, they seem responsible, I think it gives Frankfort just a little bit of character."
"You're a citizen. You can approach the lawmakers, tell them the problems you've been having with misinterpretation and you can help make laws happen so that this new technology can be used to connect communities," said Nancy Bordine, Beach Nut Surf Shop Co-Owner.
Employees of the Beach Nut Surf Shop can now transport surf and paddle boards through Downtown Frankfort to the beach.
The owners of the Beach Nut Surf Ship have received several tickets for using the electric skateboards prior to this being signed.
They said they plan to fight those in court.
With the new law, comes some safety requirements.
E-skateboards have to have lights and reflectors, use the far right side of the road and can go no faster than 25 miles per hour.
All riders have to yield to pedestrians and riders under 19-years-old have to wear a helmet.