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Thousands of kilometres have been clocked up on Dunedin’s roads, footpaths and cycle lanes on Lime scooters since they were launched on Thursday.
And there has been at least one visit to the emergency department.
A Lime spokeswoman said while it was too early to provide a complete breakdown of how many rides and riders there had been, Dunedin riders rode a total of 5936km on Thursday alone.
Popular routes included the one-way separated cycle lanes and along an Otago Harbour route, the spokeswoman said.
As steepest-street Baldwin St is considered a high-risk area, the company has decided to make it a non-service zone, meaning scooters cannot be hired or dropped off in the area.
Senior Sergeant Craig Dinnissen, of Dunedin, said police had periodically checked the street yesterday to make sure people were using their common sense.
It was up to individuals and the company to ensure the scooters were being used as intended and police would intervene when necessary, Snr Sgt Dinnissen said.
A Dunedin City Council spokeswoman said the council had received about 35 queries and a small number of social media posts relating to Lime scooters. Queries raised included ones related to rider behaviour, parking and the commercial use of the footpath, the spokeswoman said. As e-scooters were considered vehicles, under the city’s roading bylaw they did not require a permit to be placed on the footpath, unlike commercial signs, she said.
Operational issues such as the placement of scooters were directed back to the company and if people witnessed scooters being used dangerously they were advised to contact the police. Dunedin’s tertiary institutions are also preparing for crowds of students and staff members using the scooters.
Otago Polytechnic safe and wellbeing manager Andy Westgate said guidelines would be in place for their use around the polytechnic.
Guidelines would include not using them inside, keeping to walking speed around the campus and giving pedestrians the right of way, Mr Westgate said.
Acrobatic stunts would also not be allowed, he said.
University of Otago property services division director Dean Macaulay said the university was developing a policy on the use of e-scooters on campus.
As an interim measure scooters would be treated the same as bikes, meaning they were not allowed to be ridden through the campus.
Stickers advising all scooter riders to dismount while in the central campus were being created and other stickers would be put up telling people the scooters could not be charged on campus, he said.
Charging the scooters on campus would not be allowed as the cost would fall on the university, which would be inappropriate because it was predominantly funded by the government and student fees.