Police in Oslo have launched a crackdown on traffic violations committed by those riding electric scooters. Scores have been stopped and hit with hefty fines on the spot, for running red lights, riding at excessive speeds or having a passenger on board.
Police have been setting up daily traffic controls this week in heavily trafficked areas, also nabbing conventional cyclists in the meantime. They’ve been clocked at excessive speeds, too, but mostly have been fined for ignoring red traffic lights. That citation carries a fine of NOK 1,300 (USD 150).
Scooter riders have also been stopped if there’s more than one rider on the scooter. The city government has banned passengers from the controversial scooters, and violations result in a fine of NOK 3,000. Newspaper Aftenposten reported that 14 scooter riders and 15 cyclists were stopped and ticketed in just over an hour on Wednesday. That resulted in fines totalling NOK 43,700.
One scooter rider, aware he’d run a red light, tried to avoid the police but was later stopped after a police officer chased him on a bike. In another patrol at the corner of Torggata and Hausmanns gate, 31 cyclists and scooter riders were cited, plus many more in a patrol at Majorstuen on Friday.
“I think 31 violations within 75 minutes is a lot,” Kenneth Skogheim of the Oslo Police told Aftenposten. Some violators claim they were unaware of the rules, even though some scooter companies clearly warn in labels on the scooters that only one person can ride at a time.
The crackdown on the scooters and cyclists is clearly popular, with many pedestrians flashing thumbs-up signs at the police and actually stopping to thank them for attempting to gain control over the scooters especially. The scooters are never supposed to be ridden at speeds exceeding 20 kilometers an hour (12mph), with more regulation due in September.