Hoboken’s e-scooter program has had a bumpy first month. Ever since these rentable devices appeared in May 2019, hundreds of residents have sent e-scooter-related safety complaints to the Hoboken Police Department.
To help address this growing safety concern, Hoboken councilmembers are working on a new ordinance. If all goes according to plan, increased fines for e-scooter violations could go into effect this summer.
Councilmembers focused on these four common e-scooter-related complaints:
- Disregarding traffic lights and signals.
- Riding against the flow of traffic.
- Traveling with more than one person on an e-scooter.
- Operating an e-scooter on sidewalks.
Riders caught performing any of the above violations could be charged with a $20 fine on their first offense. This fine goes up to $100 for a second offense and $500 for a third. After four offenses, violators will be banned from using any rentable device in Hoboken for at least one year.
Hoboken City Council also included new measures in its ordinance dealing with riding in public parks. If the ordinance passes, then e-scooter riders won’t be allowed to ride through parks unless they are on a bike path or roadway.
Members of the Police Department say they’ve received over 240 emails and dozens of phone calls related to e-scooters since they launched in mid-May. Officers say one of the most common violations include riding on sidewalks. So far there have been no reported e-scooter injuries, but police are investigating a potential hit-and-run.
Lime and Ojo are the only two companies allowed to operate in Hoboken’s 6-month pilot program. Of the 300 e-scooters now in Hoboken, 250 are supplied by Lime.
Executives at both of these companies are aware of Hoboken’s safety concerns and are working closely with local law enforcement. Lime and Ojo encourage anyone who has an issue with their devices to reach them online at firstname.lastname@example.org or OjOHobokenCS@gmail.com, respectively.
Residents could also contact the Hoboken Police Department with any e-scooter-related concerns by emailing Traffic@hobokenpd.org.
Hoboken councilmembers usually meet twice every month except in July and August. You can read through all of Hoboken City Council’s latest documents by clicking on this official link.