Hoboken adding fines for violations of e-scooter ride share rules

HOBOKEN, New Jersey (WABC) -- The e-scooter ride-sharing program hasn't even been up and running for a month yet in Hoboken, but already, it is generating a lot of complaints.

Police have been inundated with calls of people violating the scooter rules, and now, the city plans to implement fines against offenders.

The program's popularity is undeniable, with a record number of participants, but there have been some concerns because some riders are disobeying traffic laws.

"It borderlines on a little bit on the dangerous side," rider Billy Schicky said. "From the excess speed, not paying attention to the pedestrians, zig-zagging in and out of cars."

According to the e-scooter company Lime, there were some 50,900 rides through Wednesday with nearly 18,000 riders.

"The weekends have been extremely popular, and anytime there is nice weather," Hoboken Director of Transportation Ryan Sharp said. "We've been seeing ridership records broken almost by the day."

The dockless scooter system allows riders to drop them off anywhere, causing clutter in some areas. The city is now taking a look at the best fit, but signs are posted on the scooters and around scooter hubs so riders know the rules.

"There needs to be some controls in place to make it a little safer," rider Scott Devine said.

Common offenses include riding on sidewalks, failing to obey traffic signals, riding in the wrong direction of traffic, and carrying more than one person per scooter.

The new fee structure for fines is $20 for a first violation and $100 for a second. It jumps to $500 for a third, while a fourth would mean a one-year suspension from the scooter-sharing program.

"It could be dangerous, especially if you're going at a high speed or a car doesn't stop," rider Kristen Marlatt said. "So everybody has to pay attention."

The program is in a trial period in Hoboken, and the City Council will vote on the new ordinances on June 19.

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