Kelowna’s new e-scooters are proving fashionable, however some issues stay
It’s a brand new introduction to Kelowna’s e-scooter service, but many of the same concerns are already being raised.
E-scooters were launched for the second time in the city on April 19 after the British Columbia government and Kelowna City Council were given the go-ahead for road use.
However, the service is already being scrutinized due to a lack of helmet use, proper parking and influencing the driver.
City traffic controller Matt Worona is behind the e-scooter project, which he believes is still working on some early kinks.
“We communicated with local RCMP and statutes, both of whom can enforce the helmet law by issuing tickets,” said Worona.
“Driving an e-scooter under the influence of alcohol is also a criminal offense, similar to driving under the influence of alcohol, and users must be aware of this.”
Kelowna residents have likely noticed the green, yellow, or white e-scooters parked haphazardly across town.
According to Worona, users must send a photo to the operator’s app that proves that the vehicle has been parked in an approved designated area and does not obstruct pavements, lanes, bike paths and similar areas.
Users who do not submit a photo demonstrating a responsible parking job will face fines for future use.
“After 10 days of operation, our data shows that 87% of the vehicles were parked properly,” said Worona.
“But the data also shows that 90% of users are first-time drivers, so we expect this will improve as more people become familiar with the service.”
City officials said they communicate frequently with the local RCMP regarding the service and are open to changes if necessary.
For more information on Kelowna’s e-scooter program, please visit here.
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