2016-03-02 / Front Page

114th Precinct Launches Crackdown On Electric Scooters

By Liz Goff
Police at the 114th Precinct recently launched a crackdown on operators of illegal electric bikes and scooters and on restaurant owners that use them for food deliveries.

Cops assigned to the Astoria Boulevard stationhouse seized and summonsed 12 electric bikes over a three-day period in the first week of February, commanding officer Captain Peter Fortune said.

Fortune said the command had received numerous complaints from local residents regarding the illegal motorized scooters, most of which are driven by food deliverymen who race the wrong way along local streets, ignore stop signs and traffic signals while terrorizing pedestrians.

Cops assigned to the crackdown also issued numerous Environmental Control Board (ECB) summonses to restaurant owners who own scooters used by the deliverymen, Fortune said. Summonses issued for ECB violations carry a $500 fine.

“We did not target the operators because they work for the restaurant,” Fortune said. “We went after the root of the problem and issued the summonses to the restaurant owners.”

Restaurant owners must provide proof that a summons was paid before they can reclaim their seized scooter, an EDB spokesperson said.

Fortune said police officers also engaged in outreach to help educate restaurant owners and deliverymen, to make them aware of the laws governing use of the scooters. “We stopped drivers and told them they must follow the rules of the road,” Fortune said. “We also went to the restaurants and told owners the same.”

Fortune said he is working with the office of City Councilmember Costa Constantinides in an effort to reach out to businesses that rent the scooters to restaurant owners in the 114th Precinct command.

“If we could get those businesses to stop renting out the scooters so frequently, we could get the scooters under control,” Fortune said.

NYPD officials said police officers throughout the city are being instructed on how to summons and seize the illegal motorized bikes and scooters that zoom along local streets, “causing pedestrians to run for their lives.”

 

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