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Lime scooter riders could face fines and jail time, Honolulu mayor says

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    Scooters sit on a South Street sidewalk in Kakaako.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said today he may impose up to $1,000 fines or jail time for the owner or users of Lime electric scooters for illegally parking the rental vehicles on public sidewalks.

Caldwell made the announcement at a press conference at Honolulu Hale five days after California-based Lime initially parked about 200 of its scooters on sidewalks in the Ala Moana, Waikiki and Kakaako neighborhoods.

Since then, police officers have been impounding scooters that obstruct pedestrian rights of way on sidewalks as well as scooters on private property in response to complaints.

To date, the city has impounded about 100 Lime scooters, and Lime continues to put out its remaining scooters each morning after collecting them at night for charging.

City officials at the press conference offered two new justifications for why Lime can’t do what it is doing: the scooters by state law are categorized as mopeds, which can’t be parked on sidewalks. Additionally the city said that the scooters, as defined as vehicles under state law, can’t be parked on any part of a roadway including sidewalks for the purpose of selling the vehicle or any service therein and thereby creating a hazardous condition or public nuisance.

It is this second statute that allows up to $1,000 fines or 30 days imprisonment.

“The rental of electric scooters on the city’s sidewalks creates a hazardous condition and a public nuisance, thereby violating that law,” the city said in a letter to Lime today.

Lime representatives could not be reached for immediate comment.

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