Questions in Hoboken over scooter safety after woman and baby struck

HOBOKEN, New Jersey (WABC) -- Questions are being raised in Hoboken about the safety of electric scooters following a crash Wednesday in which a teenage scooter driver on a sidewalk ran into a woman and her baby.

Electric ride-share scooters are everywhere in Hoboken, with people zipping around on standup scooters called Lime and seated scooters called OjO.

But OjO is now unplugged, catching some riders off guard.

"I was horrified because I use it as daily transportation almost. Almost daily," said OjO user Deonta Gamboa.

The city took OjO offline and canceled its contract after a user collided with a mother and her 3-month-old, ramming into her leg and stroller with enough force she claims her baby would have been tossed if he wasn't strapped in.

OjO users are supposed to be over 18 and they're not supposed to be riding on the sidewalk.

The rules are clearly marked on the scooter. But the user who struck that mother was both underage and he wasn't riding in the street.

Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla says he had serious concerns with OjO well before this incident.

"That was a culmination of a series of challenges we've experienced with this particular scooter provider," said Bhalla.

The mayor points to public education and safety campaigns rolled out by Lime, efforts that even fans of OjO admit have been lacking.

"I'm not gonna lie, the company did not be as effective with communication the safety guidelines as Lime is," said Gamboa. "Like Lime has the helmets
and they have the stations set up almost every week."

Meanwhile this fall, a new force to issue citations for bad scooter behavior is paid for using zero taxpayer dollars, funded by Lime.

"We've gained the financial means to create a new bureau within our department of transportation and parking to hire employees specifically tasked to enforce the scooter rules on the books," said Bhalla.

We reached out to OjO about the contract termination but did not hear back.

It did tweet about the crash Wednesday saying it is "extremely upset to hear one of our riders behaved so irresponsibly."

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