Details are somewhat sketchy, but when a friend had his Vespa-style electric scooter confiscated by police a few weeks back, and then I saw police at the same corner again this morning, I thought I’d post the details here.
The police have been setting a “trap” up at the corner of Xiangyang Lu & Huaihai Lu, in the former French Concession area, stopping riders of all types of electric bikes, issuing a fine, and ultimately confiscating the bikes. Don’t think that not speaking Chinese is going to help, as the police there were speaking good English. There were French, Filipino & Chinese people all caught up at the same time when my friend’s scooter was confiscated. Even though it didn’t have proper registration, my friend does have a Chinese driver’s license – this was of no use.
It’s not clear if this is an isolated crackdown, or if we’ll see more of it, but it’s something to be aware of. Technically e-bikes going greater than 20kph appear to be banned already, and this may have been strengthened recently in local legislation.
After the e-bike was confiscated, my friend went to pick it up and properly register the bike. After a series of paperwork and steps and about 250rmb fines (including 10rmb/day storage fee for every day they have your bike), the final step was to officially register the bike. The attendant told him there was no way to register this type of bike “and to take it home and use it as decoration in the garden.” Nice!
Anyways, they’ll let you drive home, so its just a matter of risking getting caught up in these traps. Also, Chinese people do seem to be aware of the law, as his neighbors told him in spring to sell the bike as they would be outlawed soon.
Below are some pics, both of the scene at Xiangyang Park this morning (Sep 30, 2013 @9:45am), and of the bike and the ticket received. Have fun and stay safe out there!
Sorry for the poor quality photo of the ticket, but if you do get fined & confiscated, go to the address on the ticket, bring all your documentation, visa/passport/household registration, etc. just in case, as it is quite a trek.
Anyone else seen any scooter confiscation traps set up around the city??