Wuhan police blacklist shared-bike saboteurs
WUHAN — Anyone found to have vandalized rental bikes will be banned from using the services, under an initiative in Wuhan, Hubei province, that takes a harsh view of offenders.
Traffic police in Wuhan have blacklisted 216 people and banned them from using shared bikes, such as Mobike or Ofo, for at least three months, the police announced on Tuesday.
The vandalism included scratched QR codes, purposeful damage and keeping the bikes in areas inaccessible to others. It’s also against the rules to carry people in the baskets, the police said. Baskets are designed for a maximum of 5 kilograms.
The list was compiled by traffic police and shared bike companies.
Shared vehicles, such as GPS-enabled bicycles, are now commonplace on many Chinese streets. It is estimated that there are more than 10 million shared bikes under 30 companies across the country. Mobike and Ofo account for more than 90 percent of the market.
Wuhan authorities estimate there are about a half-million shared bicycles in the city.
Poor management, bad cycling etiquette and bikes that clutter sidewalks are all headaches for the traffic police. In response, Shanghai and Tianjin have drafted regulations that specify a service life of three years for the bikes and demand that companies hire at least one maintenance employee for every 200 bikes.
Under Wuhan’s new rules, vandals or unsafe riders will be banned from using the services for life. Those who park bikes on bridges, in tunnels or on highways without care, or who allow a child under the age of 12 to ride a bike, will be banned for six months. Other minor offenses come with a three-month ban.
The city also promises to fine offenders.
Wuhan traffic police will share the blacklist with bicycle providers, which will have to suspend the user accounts within five days of being notified.
Blacklisted riders may resume access to the bikes after they have improved their understanding of traffic rules by voluntarily taking a class offered by the city.