You may have seen a few of your peers zooming past you on their electric scooters or bikes on campus. Let them know that Montclair State University has established rules that align with state law to ensure the safety of others.
The use of personal electric vehicles (PEVs) on campus has led to an increase in accidents on campus.
The university sent out an email on March 29 highlighting the concern. The email included a link to the guidelines for those who use PEVs on campus.
The policy covers the operation, storage, charging and overall safety while riding PEVs. It has a map showing where people on campus can ride their vehicles and an infographic on New Jersey electric bike and scooter laws.
Kieran Barrett, chief of Montclair State’s police department, said the laws on PEVs are not new, but the campus rules are.
“The rules are largely a reflection of N.J. law so the law has been in place for some time,” Barrett said. “Some did not consider that the law could be enforced here and we just also wanted to be sure we recognized some of the unique terrain here at Montclair [State].”
On campus, owners and operators of these vehicles must follow state laws and campus policy in regard to PEVs to avoid consequences.
“Applicable motor N.J. vehicle laws can be enforced by police and in the case of charging in areas that are unsafe, the community member may face conduct or housing ramifications,” Barrett said.
Barrett said that people in the campus community using PEVs on campus need to be responsible, vigilant and aware of the rules that pertain to their PEVs.
“We recognize this is a mode of transport that many utilize,” Barrett said. “We ask that if using a PEV, we recognize we have the same responsibilities as others using roadways and common areas. Many work to ensure a safe experience here at Montclair [State] so we do not expect this to impact many.”
Eli Williams, a freshman computer science major, uses an electric skateboard to get around campus.
He can attest to the increase in injuries via PEV accidents.
“I’ve seen two people get hit in my last three weeks here,” Williams said. “It’s not really an okay hit because they’re coming at [high speeds]. I’d say regulate it up to a certain speed or just where exactly you’re going with it. During class hours when people are going to their next class, they’re always getting in the way.”
He is grateful to see the PEV guidelines in place following the accidents he has seen occur on campus.
“Honestly, I’m for it in my opinion, because I’ve seen a lot of people on the scooters [hit] people and it’s kind of like, ‘What are you doing,’” Williams said. “You [have] to be able to slow down unless the vehicle can slow down. It’s kind of like a safety hazard. Me personally, I can bail my skateboard, which will stop it immediately but some scooters, they don’t have that ability.”
Tyler Joseph, a senior exercise science major, said it is great that students have the ability to use PEVs on campus.
“I think it’s pretty cool to have one from my perspective,” Joseph said. “I think one of my friends, they go to [New Jersey Institute of Technology], they actually use one of the scooters to get around. Sometimes you might find it as a hassle to go from there to there, so having the scooter, I think that’s a good thing to have.”
Joseph said that Montclair State’s campus is large and is aware of the risk of injury. He is glad to know that the guidelines have been implemented.
“They think about us when they do that,” Joseph said.
Eunice Lee, a freshman dance major, agrees with the use of PEVs on campus but that they should have designated lanes.
“I haven’t seen any accidents so far,” Lee said. “I think electric scooters [should keep being] allowed, but if there are any accidents then I think they should have a separate trail for them.”