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Safety the most important focus of e-scooter trials

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Safety the most important focus of e-scooter trials

As the ACT Government readies for a public road safety forum this Tuesday, and other jurisdictions like NSW prepare to hear community views, Beam Mobility says that trials of e-scooters can be implemented safely, as long as Governments examine and learn from other trials in Australia and New Zealand and mandate safety requirements.

“New technology is revolutionising the way we travel. To meet our transport needs now and into the future, it is important to support and promote alternative transport methods as part of an integrated public transport network,” Brad Kitschke, Beam’s Head of Public Affairs, said today.

“Beam applauds the those government leading the public discussion on changing transport environment and prioritising road safety.

“A pathway towards a safe e-scooter trials is possible as long as road safety is the focus. Beam encourages the governments to review the outcomes, rules and operating models of providers from other e-scooter trials across Australia and New Zealand when developing these pathways.

“When comparing safety data on the public record from Adelaide and Christchurch with trials conducted in other locations such as Brisbane, it is clear that some basic rules can be put in place to improve safety outcomes for everyone.

“Trials can be conducted safely, preserving public amenity and ensuring that e-scooter riders as well as motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and users of other personal mobility devices are all safe.

“When you examine the outcomes of the various trials in Australia and New Zealand, it becomes clear that rules based on road safety principles deliver the best outcomes.

“There are things in trials which should be mandated, including the ability for the speed to be governed or preventing e-scooters from accessing ‘no go’ areas, or the implementation of speed reduction zones.

“When you focus on safety and lead with that, trials can be safe and successful. We encourage the Government to consider some of these basic measures as mandated rules for any trial,” Mr Kitschke said.

Comparing the e-scooter trials

Brisbane and Auckland

• In Brisbane and Auckland, e-scooters were introduced with a 25km/h speed limit, but that speed was not governed as a top speed meaning downhill riders could exceed the 25/km/h.
• There were no speed reduction areas and the geofence perimeters were not enforced.

Serious Injury
• In Brisbane, of those injured and admitted to hospital, 28% had been injured when the scooter was travelling at a speed exceeding 30km/h, an indication that speed plays a significant role in serious injuries.
• In the Auckland trial, more than 7500 accidents causing injury were reported to the New Zealand Accident Compensation Commission. New Zealand tax-payers funded more than $3million in unexpected and un-budgeted compensation payouts for injuries to riders.

Adelaide and Christchurch

• The speed limit is set at 15km/h and by using technology the e-scooter speed is governed preventing it from exceeding the maximum speed (15km/h).

• When a rider attempts to exit the approved operating area the e-scooter gradually slows down over safe increments until it reaches a stop.
• The e-scooter then locks and can only be unlocked and reactivated by the rider for the purpose of moving it back into the approved operating zone.
• Despite helmets not being required by New Zealand law they are distributed with Beam’s e-scooters.

• Beam is unique in having a group personal accident policy to cover eligible riders of Beam scooters.
• Beam worked closely with Allianz and Marsh to structure the policy to provide coverage for our riders in relation to any injuries suffered (ie. broken bones and dental), loss of income caused by accidents, rehabilitation costs, funeral and accidental deaths compensation and out of pocket expenses.
• This is a market-leading innovation for the e-scooter sharing industry which reinforces Beam’s reputation as a responsible and sustainable operator. Beam is currently the only operator in ANZ to provide personal accident coverage for our riders.


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