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In Atlanta, talk of e-scooter ban, $1,000 fines for misbehaving users is swirling

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Plus, some riders have been hacking the dockless vehicles to go faster

Woman riding shareable scooter down street.
An example of lawful e-scooter behavior (although without helmet).
Atlanta City Council

City of Atlanta Planning Commissioner Tim Keane tried to warn e-scooter users back in April: “Don’t be a knucklehead,” he said in a public service announcement about dockless vehicle safety.

A few weeks later, it appears neither Keane’s words nor the punitive forces of the city’s new e-scooter and bike laws have been enough to prevent people from misbehaving on the rentable two-wheelers.

Now, according to a new report by WSB-TV, police could fine e-scooter users up to $1,000 for riding on sidewalks, as they are wont to do.

Exactly how Atlanta police would have authority to impose such fines, however, is less clear. (City officials did not immediately respond to Curbed Atlanta’s request for comment.)

Back in January, when the Atlanta City Council established e-scooter and bike regulations, the ordinance stated that operating companies could be fined if their customers unlawfully abandon their vehicles in public rights of way.

Since then, the city has impounded hundreds of dockless vehicles, but problems with e-scooters and bikes being littered around town don't seem to have subsided.

Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore told Fox 5 that new efforts need to be made to crack down on the city’s e-scooter chaos.

She even suggested a temporary ban might have to be implemented so city leaders can take a step back and better assess the situation.

On Monday, the City of Alpharetta became the first North Fulton municipality to outright ban e-scooter companies from operating within city limits, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In December, Athens issued an e-scooter ban for up to a year.

In other e-scooter abuse news, a Consumer Reports investigation found that some models of shareable scooters are vulnerable to a glitch that can allow users to circumvent a vehicle’s speed limiter, allowing them to go faster than 15 miles per hour allowed by the City of Atlanta’s laws.