Personal Electric Vehicles

POLICY: Use of Electric Scooters and Other Personal Electric Vehicles on Campus

Responsible Executive: Executive Vice President

Responsible Offices: Department of Public Safety, Environmental Health and Safety, Grounds and Buildings Maintenance, Housing and Real Estate Services, and Transportation and Parking Services

Contacts: Please direct questions concerning this policy to Robin Izzo, Executive Director, Environmental Health and Safety.

Effective Date: February 6, 2020


I. Policy Statement

This policy establishes rules and procedures for the safe operation, storage, charging, and parking of electric scooters and other personal electric vehicles (e.g., electric skateboards, electric bicycles, hoverboards, etc.) on the Princeton University campus. The purpose of this policy is to promote safety on the University campus while permitting students, faculty, staff, and visitors to benefit from the use of these devices. Personal Electric Vehicle users assume all risks associated with their operation of these vehicles on the Princeton Campus.

II. Who Is Affected by This Policy

This policy applies to all students, faculty, staff, and visitors and to both shared-use and privately-owned personal electric vehicles. This policy does not apply to personal electric devices designed for and used to accommodate persons with mobility restrictions.

III. Definitions

Personal Electric Vehicles – Electric or motorized scooters [1], electric skateboards, hoverboards, and other electric vehicles used for personal transportation recognized under New Jersey law. This policy does not apply to personal electric devices designed for and used to accommodate persons with mobility restrictions.

Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) – A U.S. government agency that protects the American public from consumer products that create a potential hazard to safety, through education, safety standards, regulation, and enforcement. 

Independent Testing Laboratory – A third-party, nationally-recognized laboratory accredited by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which sets technical standards for product design and construction. Examples of independent testing laboratories are UL (formerly Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.) and ASTM International (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials). Sample labels:

UL Logo  ASRM Logo

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) – NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards.

Princeton Campus includes any property owned, leased, or controlled by the University.

IV. Policy


Requirements and Prohibitions

Use of Personal Electric Vehicles is permitted on the Princeton Campus subject to NJ laws and the following:

Requirements:

a.  Personal Electric Vehicles used by faculty, staff, and students must be registered with Transportation and Parking Services (TPS) and must have a registration label affixed to the vehicle. Vehicles that do not bear registration labels may be ticketed or impounded.

b.  Personal Electric Vehicle users must be sixteen (16) years of age or older.

c.  Personal Electric Vehicle users of all ages are encouraged to wear a helmet when riding. New Jersey law requires users to wear helmets if (i) they are under seventeen (17) years of age (regardless of the type of Personal Electric Vehicle they are operating); or (ii) they are operating a motorized bicycle, regardless of their age.  

d.  Personal Electric Vehicle users must obey traffic and bike rules on campus, including stopping at stop lights and stop signs.

e.  Consistent with NJ law, operators must dismount Personal Electric Vehicles at crosswalks in order to be afforded pedestrian rights.

f.  Personal Electric Vehicle users must stay to the right on all roadways, crosswalks, pathways, and sidewalks. Pedestrians have the right of way. 

g.  Personal Electric Vehicle users must yield to pedestrians in walkways and sidewalks and provide audible or hand signals when approaching or passing pedestrians.

h.  A front-facing white light and a rear-facing red light are required for operation in low-light conditions. These lights may be affixed to the vehicle or worn by the rider. 

i.  Personal Electric Vehicle users shall be mindful of their safety, the safety of others, and shall be alert to pedestrians and other vehicles.

Prohibitions:

a.  Personal Electric Vehicles may not be operated inside any University building.

b.  Personal Electric Vehicles are not allowed inside Princeton University academic or administrative buildings or athletics facilities.

c.  Personal Electric Vehicle users shall not operate the vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or controlled substances.

d.  Tandem riding is prohibited.

e.  Personal Electric Vehicle users may not use cell phones, headphones, or earbuds when operating the vehicle.

Fire Safety Requirements

a.  To minimize the risk of personal injury and property damage, Personal Electric Vehicles shall not be used, possessed, charged, and/or stored anywhere on the Princeton Campus unless they bear the seal of an independent testing laboratory accredited by the CPSC. 

b.  Personal Electric Vehicles may not be stored or parked in common areas, stairways, or hallways of any University building.

Parking Requirements

a.  Personal Electric Vehicles shall not be parked in the following areas on the Princeton Campus:

  1. inside any University academic or administrative building or athletics facility
  2. in common areas or hallways of University housing buildings, including dormitories and residential colleges
  3. on a sidewalk
  4. on turf or flowerbeds or tied to trees
  5. in a street
  6. at the top or bottom of any stairs or steps
  7. in any manner that blocks access to entrances or exits to buildings
  8. in any manner than would impede access to wheelchair ramps
  9. adjacent to or affixed to structures, architectural elements, or artwork including, but not limited to, handrails, fences, benches, light poles, sign poles, sculptures, etc.

b.  Personal Electric Vehicles shall be parked upright or folded on hard outdoor surfaces and when possible attached to bike racks.

Electric Charging Restrictions

a.  The charging of Personal Electric Vehicles is restricted to residential rooms within University housing buildings.

b.  The charging of Personal Electric Vehicles in any University academic or administrative building or athletics facility is prohibited.

c.  The use of extension cords for charging Personal Electric Vehicles is prohibited.

Safety and Security Recommendations 

a.  Speed of Personal Electric Vehicles should be limited to ten (10) miles per hour or as reasonable for the traffic of both pedestrians and vehicles, whichever is less.

b.  Personal Electric Vehicle users should avoid use in areas with heavy pedestrian traffic.

c.  When not in use, Personal Electric Vehicles should be locked to a bike rack, when possible, using a U-type lock.

Additional Restrictions

The University reserves the right to further limit or prohibit the use of Personal Electric Vehicles in order to preserve the safety of the University community.

V. Policy Enforcement

Personal Electric Vehicle operation is subject to New Jersey traffic regulations. Most regulations pertaining to bicycles also apply to operation of these vehicles.

a.  Students found to be in violation of this policy may be subject to (i) discipline in accordance with Rights, Rules, Responsibilities; (ii) penalties imposed by TPS pursuant to its policies; and/or (iii) civil or criminal penalties. 

b.  Employees found to be in violation of this policy may be subject to (i) discipline in accordance with Rights, Rules, Responsibilities and other applicable policies; (ii) penalties imposed by TPS pursuant to its policies; and/or (iii) civil or criminal penalties.  

c.  Campus visitors found to be in violation of this policy may be subject to (i) discipline in accordance with Rights, Rules, Responsibilities and other applicable policies; (ii) penalties imposed by TPS pursuant to its policies; and/or (iii) civil or criminal penalties.

d.  Registration

  1. All Personal Electric Vehicles must be registered through Princeton University Transportation and Parking Services and must bear a registration sticker.
  2. Personal Electric Vehicles without registration stickers may be ticketed or impounded.

e.  Impoundment 

  1. Any unattended Personal Electric Vehicle that presents a safety hazard or impedes pedestrian traffic will be impounded immediately without notice. 
  2. Any unattended Personal Electric Vehicle that is unregistered may be ticketed or impounded immediately without notice.
  3. Princeton University is not responsible for damage to a Personal Electric Vehicle that occurs during impoundment and has no responsibility or liability to replace or make compensation for such vehicles. 
  4. Impounded Personal Electric Vehicles must be collected by the owner within 90 days. After 90 days, they will be disposed of by the University. 
  5. Payment of an administrative fee up to $100.00 will be required to retrieve an impounded vehicle.  
     

VI. Related Policies

a. Rights, Rules, Responsibilities

b. Undergraduate Housing Fire Safety Policies

c. Workplace Health and Safety Policies and Responsibilities
 

VII. Update Log

Endorsed by the Environmental Safety and Risk Management Committee on February 6, 2020.

 

[1] Under New Jersey law, a low-speed electric scooter “means a scooter with a floorboard that can be stood upon by the operator, with handlebars, and an electric motor that is capable of propelling the device with or without human propulsion at a maximum speed of less than 19 miles per hour.”

Under New Jersey law, a motorized scooter “means a miniature motor vehicle and includes, but is not limited to, pocket bikes, super pocket bikes, scooters, mini-scooters, sports scooters, mini choppers, mini motorcycles, motorized skateboards, and other vehicles with motors that are not manufactured in compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and which have no permanent Federal Safety Certification stickers affixed to the vehicle by the original manufacturer.”