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Governor signs electronic skateboard bill into law
electronic skateboards
Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen ( R Riverbank) takes an electronic skateboard for a spin around the west steps of the Capitol building in Sacramento during a demo day she hosted in April. - photo by Journal file photo

Legislation authored by Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen (R – Riverbank) to allow the use of electronic skateboards was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown Sunday.

“I am pleased the Governor Brown recognized the need for state government to keep up with innovation in California, and signed AB 604,”Olsen said.  “My legislation updates our outdated laws to give Californians an environmentally-friendly transportation option, and encourages the growth of an industry to create new jobs.”

The ban of electronic skateboards was instated in 1977 to prevent the noise and air pollution that was caused by the skateboards which were predominantly gas powered at the time. The new law permits electrically-motorized skateboard riders over the age of 13 to operate within bicycle ways in California and authorizes local governments to adopt rules and regulations regarding the boards. 

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 My legislation will update our outdated laws to give Californians an environmentally-friendly transportation option, and encourage the growth of an industry to create new jobs,” said Olsen in July.

Olsen discovered electronic skateboards during a tour in her home district where she came across Intuitive Motion, a Riverbank based company run by two University of Southern California graduates who created the board as their senior engineering design project.

This discovery prompted Olsen to invest in updating the law to reflect the significant technological advancements that have occurred since the ban was put in place decades ago. Intuitive Motion, who created the Z-Board, has taken steps to be an addition to the local economy by employing several local individuals to manufacture the boards which are created using locally sourced sheet metal components from Ceres.

"Motorized skateboards were made illegal in the 1970's because they were largely do-it-yourself and garage-built, with loud gasoline engines.  The technology of electric skateboards today has led to short-range transportation vehicles that are lightweight, safer, and much quieter, creating green technology jobs and a convenient, fun new means of transportation right here in California," said Brad Phillipi of Intuitive Motion.  "We are grateful that the Governor recognized the need to allow for this technology, and are hopeful that it will allow many more Californians to enjoy the benefits and joy of riding an electric skateboard safely."

AB 604 will become law on Jan. 1, 2016.