While Vancouver has a hard time shaking its no-fun city reputation, one thing it fully embraces is alternative forms of transportation. But those two worlds recently collided when a dude taking his electric skateboard for an inaugural cruise got "pulled over" by police and fined $600.
Daniel Dahlberg, 25, said on Saturday, two days after purchasing his Boosted Board—a motorized longboard—he was riding it to work when he was stopped by a cop on a motorcycle.
"I was going down the road, it was downhill, and I made a stop at the stop sign and that's where the cop was waiting. He told me to pull over, which is a pretty ridiculous thing to hear when you're on a longboard," Dahlberg told VICE. "So I picked up my board."
The officer then informed Dahlberg that he was going to get a fine for not having insurance. When Dalhberg responded that he was willing to get insurance, he said the cop replied that he couldn't because "it doesn't exist."
The officer then handed him a $600 fine. For comparison, that's actually more than BC's fine for selling alcohol to kids.
"My jaw dropped to the ground when he told me," Dahlberg said. "I still can't come to terms with the fact that it's $600."
He said the cop told him motorized bikes are legal because they can be used manually, but skateboards don't qualify. Dahlberg said he argued that he can use the skateboard manually as well, but was told something to the effect of "nice try."
"He said ignorance of the law is not an excuse."
Dahlberg, who paid $2,500 for the motorized device, said the board fits in with the city's embrace of environmentally-friendly transport options and it's a fun way to get around.
"This is slick and well designed. [It] doesn't look like a science experiment," he said when asked if he was concerned about being compared to hoverboard users.
He told VICE the owner of the store he made the purchase at told him he wasn't aware of the laws, nor has he heard of this type of fine being handed out before.
Since posting his story on Reddit, Dalhberg said he's heard from other Boosted Board users and even former lawyers who are offering their advice. He plans to contest the ticket.
"We live in a city now which touts itself as being so environmentally conscious and responsible," he said. "I think everybody is kind of feeling this because it seems totally unjustified and counterproductive to the direction we're trying to go in."
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