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Sunday, April 14, 2024
The Observer

E-scooters and other personal electric vehicles banned from campus

A student rides an electric scooter by DeBartolo Hall with AirPods in.

The operation of personal electric vehicles (PEVs) including e-scooters, e-skateboards, e-hoverboards and go karts will be banned on Notre Dame's campus starting Dec. 17.

Storage and charging of these machines will also be prohibited, executive vice president Shannon Cullinan announced Thursday afternoon in an email to campus.

Mobility aids such as electric wheelchairs and powerchairs are exempt from the ban. Electric bicycles are still permitted as long as they are operated on campus without electric assistance, according to the email.

“Although we recognize the convenience of PEVs for those who have them, this fact cannot outweigh the threat to campus safety,” the email said. “Moreover, we believe the proliferation of mechanized vehicles on campus is inconsistent with the pedestrian character of campus we have tried to preserve.”

The University changed its PEV policy after receiving the recommendation from a committee of students, faculty and staff that recently published a report on PEV safety. The report summarized 586 responses from the campus community, 90.9% of which “expressed strong or moderate concerns about the safety of PEVs on campus.”

Between fall 2021 and fall 2023, 104 PEV-involved accidents were reported to Notre Dame police, according to the report. Almost 90% of these accidents required medical attention. 

The ban also comes after the Mendoza College of Business was evacuated in October due to a fire started by an electric skateboard. The lower level of Mendoza’s southwest wing was temporarily closed as a result.

University police will offer temporary storage through spring semester for those unable to bring their PEVs home over Christmas break, but storage in dorms over break is not permitted.