Despite Efforts To Curtail Use, Kids Continue To Use E-Bikes

Jul 11, 2018

Credit Claire Wiley for PCMC

The e-bike program in the Park City and Snyderville area is a hit, but the bikes are not supposed to be used by riders under 18. County Transportation Manager Caroline Rodriguez is asking for parents to be more responsible

Rodriguez pleaded with parents to remember that the e-bikes are not "play-gyms" as she put it, for their teenager or toddlers

"They're really not meant for that, and I know a lot of our other citizens are concerned about children getting hurt. Please, if parents could be responsible for that, it would really help us out."

Rodriguez says that they have not had any accidents yet.

"We don't have any incidents; we mostly just have other citizens calling us and worried about the welfare of the children. Teenagers like to experiment with cool bikes and gadgets. There's a lot of curb jumping, we've seen a lot of teenagers putting their friends in the baskets and it breaks the baskets off. We have to pay for it. If we could have parents be responsible that would be really helpful."

Rodriguez said she has talked to the sheriff about enforcement, but that isn't really a practical solution.

"We're stretched so thin as it is, to ask the sheriff's department or police department to be the bike police is really a little unfair. Especially when you're signing up for a membership or swiping your credit card, you're agreeing to be that responsible party. So we hope, like trail use or picking up after your dog that users are going to be responsible. We do put notices at many different decision points, on the bikes, on the signs, on the kiosk. When you sign-up for a membership you're responsible you need to be 18."

Rodriguez says they are fining those who they can prove did damage to bikes. Although identifying riders is a challenge as well.

"Only if we get can close enough to actually see the I.D. number on the bike or if we get the bike and know that particular user has damaged the bike, then yes we do. And we have been charging."