Chances are you have ridden a Lime scooter, particularly if you live in or have visited one of the cities where they operate.

But have you ever given any thought to where you left it once you were done?

Rumours are emerging that Councils in parts of the country where Lime scooters operate may consider regulating their use under parking management bylaws.

Councils use parking bylaws to determine which activities can be carried out in a particular area.

The bylaws cover matters such as where you can park and for how long, whether there is a cost involved, and other restrictions.

Currently, there are Lime scooter hubs in Christchurch, Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin.

The motorised contraptions are GPS enabled, so rather than needing to be returned to a drop-off point they can be parked in any location once the rider has completed their journey.

“Juicers” then collect the abandoned scooters, clean and charge them, and return them to a central hub.



A "juicer" approaches an abandoned Lime scooter
A “juicer” approaches an abandoned Lime scooter.
Image credit: Alden Williams/Stuff

But the places where the scooters have been discarded have prompted a call for more considerate use.

Murray Champion is one of the many disgruntled members of the public who wants Lime scooter users to be more considerate about where they leave them.

Murray had come up to Auckland for the day from Waikato and found the scooters to be a nuisance when he tried to park his Hilux.

“Those bloody green things were sitting in the last two parks on the street.” Murray complained to our Herald.

“They weren’t even upright, one was upside down and the others were on their sides, like they had been dropped.”

Murray said he contacted Auckland Mayor Phil Goff right away.

“I gave him a bell but his pee-ay said he was busy. I told her to tell him, tell him those things are a bloody pain in the arse and the wardens should give them parking tickets.”

“If they’re going to park in the bloody car parks, give them a ticket the same as you would a car.”


Bylaws considered

A source close to one of the Auckland councillors, who asked not to be named, told The Stuffed Herald elected officials have discussed the merits of implementing bylaws regulating their use.

Previously, Phil Twyford has said Councils would be within their rights to create bylaws of this nature.

“Ms Fletcher and a few of the other councillors are still upset about the near misses.” The Stuffed Herald heard. “They want to see limitations put on their use, including where they can park.”

“One of the proposals is to have Auckland Transport treat them the same as vehicles, and issue infringement notices if they are in breach of parking bylaws.”

This would mean Lime scooter users would potentially be subject to time restrictions, would not be able to park in prohibited areas such as on yellow lines, in a driveway or in a mobility space, and would have to pay to use metered (paid) spaces.

Exactly how this would be enforced and who would be responsible for paying an infringement – the company or the user – is yet to be determined.

In most cases, where a parking infringement is issued to a vehicle, the person who was in control of the vehicle at the time of the offence is responsible for paying.

However, in the case of an infringement for expired registration or warrant of fitness, the registered owner is responsible for paying.

Since lime scooters are not currently required to be registered or have a warrant of fitness, the onus would most likely be on the person who last used the device.

Riders pre-pay through an app, which would allow the operating company to track the person who committed the offence by accessing the user’s information which they supply when they register.


Limes, limes everywhere

Lime Scooters have been spotted in a range of locations around the country – and their appearances aren’t limited to the cities where hubs have been established.

Limes have been spotted in Gore, Balclutha and Ashburton; and Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt has said he would like them to come to the Southernmost regions.

New Zealanders have spotted limes in so many places that a Facebook page, Limes in Weird Places, has been set up for people to document the more creative spots where they have been left.



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