Only two tickets were issued for illegal electric scooter use on Edmonton sidewalks during an enforcement blitz Saturday, with compliance on the rise since May.
In the third e-scooter season on Edmonton streets, this is the first year city peace officers are issuing tickets for rule violations after an increase in safety concerns about them being used on sidewalks in busy business districts such as Downtown and Old Strathcona.
Releasing the results of the planned enforcement in a statement to Postmedia Monday, city spokesman Jim Stang said two $100 tickets were issued on Saturday as well as two separate warnings for e-scooter use on sidewalks. Peace officers aimed their surveillance Downtown and in Old Strathcona where the majority of concerns have been.
The results are a significant decrease from the first round of enforcement over the Victoria Day long weekend, where 17 fines were doled out and 127 warnings issued. Peace officers observed good compliance, Stang said, with the majority of riders on permitted infrastructure such as roads with a speed limit of 50 km/h or less, protected bike lanes or shared-use paths.
“This was the second enforcement aimed at users of e-scooters to ensure people are complying with the rules which prohibit their operation on sidewalks,” Stang said in the statement. “Further enforcement efforts may be conducted throughout the summer.”
During the 2019 and 2020 seasons combined, the city issued 59 warnings and no tickets. E-scooter use is prohibited on sidewalks, park trails which the city doesn’t maintain or vehicle lanes which have been converted to patio use this summer on Jasper Avenue, 124 Street and several streets in Old Strathcona. Those under 18 aren’t allowed to operate an e-scooter as per the city’s bylaw.
Peace officers will continue to monitor for compliance of the rules during their regular patrols but additional periods of escalated enforcement may take place if the concerns persist.
With three vendors already out on Edmonton streets in Bird, Lime and Spin Mobility, the city suspended additional applications for this year. A review is currently underway to determine the appropriate number of providers, taking into consideration the level of demand as well as safety and enforcement capacity. Between 2,000 and 2,500 e-scooters are currently allowed to operate on Edmonton streets.