• Peter Bateman
    77
    Dear Forum,
    This week a new mode of transport was launched on the streets of central Auckland, namely a fleet of electric scooters which anyone can use.
    On Monday I saw a young man on one of the Lime e-scooters zoom down the footpath of the side-street by our office and around a blind corner at speed. Any pedestrian would have been bowled.
    I am fortunate to be able to walk to work. If they take off, I may encounter these scooters every day.
    Can one of your clever risk analysts advise if I should be worried, or am I getting concerned about nothing?

    Regards
    Anxious pedestrian of Freemans Bay
  • Simon Lawrence
    74
    I knew a cop some years ago who told me this mode of transport, including pedal bikes, is illegal on footpaths. Show me one developed country in the world that tolerates it. NZ needs to clarify this and stick to it. The future is here and electric things are going to be part of it
  • Michelle Dykstra
    22
    I need to concur - this is a valid concern. Footpaths need to be preserved as safe places for people of all ages and abilities to WALK. A have personally had some frightening experiences with scooters on walkways coming toward me at speed and without any care or courtesy.
  • Glenn Taylor
    26
    This raises concerns I agree, only this morning on Queen St I saw some of these Lime-S electric scooters on the road not the pavements being ridden by people wearing headphones and running through red lights so a high potential to be struck by a vehicle going through a green light and not being able to hear any traffic or sirens. I'm guessing it'll only be a matter of time before someone on a scooter is hit. I notice as well although it may be unrelated but I see keep left painted on the pavements....what are the actual rules around their use ? I understand Segways are not supposed to be used on the pavements...but I'm not sure about that.
  • Sheri Greenwell
    66
    I just saw someone using one of these to zip along a footpath at Auckland City Hospital this morning. It's challenging enough to manage vehicles through the complex site and keep pedestrians out of the way of vehicles, but the person on the scooter would have sent any pedestrian flying if they ran into someone!
  • Glenn Taylor
    26
    Interesting that our very concerns are also those of others according to some news articles of near misses and actual injuries from using e-scooters. A friend of mine just said why can helmets be plugged into the scooters so that when a person wants one they have to disengage the helmet to activate and use the scooter otherwise it will not operate. Perhaps that may encourage riders to use a helmet. Reading some of the comments on other news outlets overseas indicate of class action lawsuits against Lime for its lack of safety so this is something that is going to drag on until such times and injuries dictate otherwise....other countries and cities have banned them as a result of serious injury and fatalities...headphones being used while riding one on the road is a real worry for me !
  • Andrew
    142
    As I sit down with a sherry in front of the wireless waiting for the news broadcast I remember the time when roller skates were all the rage. Those pesky youngsters zooming up and down the streets with narry a thought for we pedestrians.

    Then there were those, frankly, uncouth hoodlums on their skateboards. I'm sure half of them didn't wash!

    After that came those hip young things on their inline skates. Couldnt hear them even a yard away,

    As for last years senior citizens the less said about their cursed mobility scooters the better.

    Now its e-scooters

    The world is not a safe place! We're going to hell in a handbasket.
  • Annalisa
    17
    1000 scooters released in Auckland going 25ks an hour and people go out drinking on a Friday night... yup.... there's good reason to be concerned. It's another issue for Police and we don't even have clear guidance and regulations around use and ownership (supply) of these. :sad:
  • Glenn Taylor
    26
    UPDATE today 25/10: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12148471
    Now that a councillor was nearly clipped "within an inch" there will be an urgent safety review of the scooters. Not sure why only after a councillor was clipped but there you go....
  • Tania Curtin
    88
    It would be interesting to see some ACC stats on claims related to these. I expect we are going to see some pretty gnarly injuries, and plenty of minor ones too. The lack of helmets, clear rules/expectations (e.g. where they can be ridden, if they can be used under then influence, speed limits, give way rules and so on) is a massive concern!
  • Alan Johnson
    21
    Sarcasm: I recognise it... :-)
  • Alan Johnson
    21
    I'm sure I heard on the AM show this morning, where they were discussing these very things, that ACC has already had 14 claims as results of injuries from/incurred by the things?
  • Adam Parkinson
    11
    Thankfully Phil Twyford seems to have a more nuanced and level headed view. Risk is risk and all risks should be assessed calmly without defaulting to a kneejerk ban/helmet/legislate etc position . If we applied the same risk assessment to the injuries caused by cars, as some are now applying to scooters, everyone in a car would be required to wear a helmet, all vehicle would be required to have speed limiters and actually they would probably just be banned immediately. Certainly reallocating our public realm, as in streets and road width to a wider range of different types of users will separate those users out and provide more safe options for everyone to move around efficiently, reliably and safely.
  • Glenn Taylor
    26
    Alan, I believe 14 cases with ACC is correct. They are also looking at overseas experiences with regard to injuries/fatalities which isn't a bad thing to do as its a common risk. I think Adam has hit on something and that seems to be the lack of information surrounding their use as we wouldn't want to knee-jerk legislation or bye-laws off the cuff so an analysis/report might be a good proposition so that we can determine a suitable set of guidelines or codes much the same as other modes. As it stands at the moment though it is a HiPo that something will occur OTBOP.
  • Ian Bensemann
    4
    Why are helmets not required on these vehicles - is there some sort of loophole where if you ride on the footpath you don't need a helmet ?
  • Craig Marriott
    55
    @Adam Parkinson I agree. I have often said that there is no way the internal combustion engine would make it through the HAZOP stage now. "So you want to take a volatile fuel, deliberately explode it thousands of times, stick it in a moving vehicle at high speed, fill it with your family and then put thousands of them within touching distance of each other, all travelling in different directions at the same time. Denied!"
  • Andrew
    142
    They still allow rugby - which maims loads of people every week and you dont hear bleating about that.
  • Bruce Tollan
    11
    I think we should all behave as WorkSafe states - Do not cause harm to yourself or others. If you wind up on ACC you get a bill for hurting yourself. if you hurt some one else you get their bill. Until you pay = denied access to E scooters. (or whatever else).
  • Graham Neate
    21
    I always thought that a 'footpath' was designed and designated for foot traffic (i.e. people walking or running). But that's sooo last century. Introducing silent scooters that can travel at 27kph doesn't seem to mitigate the risks (to people walking) to 'as low as reasonably practicable' - you know what I mean. But I don't suppose that a 'footpath' is a workplace. Or is it?
  • Adam Parkinson
    11
    @Graham Neate Yes I agree about footpaths, getting around mostly by foot power myself, but the simple fact is that in totally car-centric environment like ours, there are many circumstances in which breaking the rules as a pedestrian, on a scooter (or bike for that matter) is not only justified, but necessary to ensure your survival. It's quite clear that some of the most basic principles of H&S are deliberately excluded from what goes on in our streets and roads. We allow vehicles (SUVs for example) that are pretty much designed to kill a pedestrian - in fact we blame the vulnerable pedestrian (or cyclist etc) now - 'distracted', 'headphones' even though the vehicle driver is allowed to sit in a hermetically sealed, sound proofed, air bagged 2 tonne metal box with all manner of tech distractions and sound systems. Clearly the principle of 'if you create the risk ....' is not applied to anyone outside of the vehicle.
    Our culture has developed an almost unlimited appetite for risk when it comes to the motor vehicle. Akin to an addiction. My view is that Scooters are one of the least of our problems in our public realm in terms of managing risk.
  • Annalisa
    17
    Having read the latest incident details I can't help wondering perhaps installing the engineering control of a speed limit on these lime scooters is the best solution? To go as fast as a human running pace and nothing more perhaps would be a win win.
  • Jared M
    4
    Personally I dont think you are worried about nothing but by the same token I agree with others here and recent news opinions that the risk needs to be put in to context with wider transport risks. You could also add in environmental factors too if it's getting cars off the road.

    A far as scooters go there are risks to the rider and to pedestrians, having dedicated riding areas for bikes and other wheeled things would keep pedestrians more safe, as would some protective gear help protect the riders.

    There is suggestions to limit speed, if they are on foot paths with walkers then maybe that could be appropriate but could only justify that to as slow as someone could other wise run in my opinion. If the scooters were in a designated area then speed limiting is a bit sticky because then all of a sudden are we going to put speed limiters on pedal bikes and every thing else also?

    I feel its a new thing and people just need to get used to the idea of change - it's a happening thing weather people like it or not, here in rotorua we have lots of shared walking /biking tracks that get quite busy--there is etiquette, signage and just generally people look out for each other. They keep left, if passing yell passing on right so people infront know - i realise its not the same as a busy city street but same rules can apply. Maybe constant beeping or some noise the scooter could make could replace the need for yelling?

    Is a hard one - I can see both sides of the argument but still belive controls should be based off a holistic approach to transport not statistics in isolation to scooters, also I've not seen them and not in a busy city, I imagine if its pretty congested on footpaths really in a ideal world you would just make the whole city centre car free - every one can walk, bike, scoot etc imagine the health and environment plusses that would have
  • Michael Wilson
    24
    Hello All,

    E-scooters are considered low powered vehicles and may be used on the footpath without a helmet. They may not be used in cycle lanes.

    More details are available here https://www.nzta.govt.nz/vehicles/vehicle-types/low-powered-vehicles/

    Be Safe,

    Michael Wilson
  • Andrew
    142
    Worrying to hear Minister of ACC totally out of his depth yesterday. The issue/context was around the number of Lime accidents and whether Lime are paying ACC levies to cover costs of accidents. ILG was asked if Lime paid levies - with the questioner inferring Lime should pay levies to help cover costs. His answer was he didn't know.

    The correct answer would have been riders of Lime scooters are covered by ACC through either through the Earner premiums they pay or from the non-earner insurance account.
  • Tania Curtin
    88
    Is it just me or does something moving at 30kph on a footpath seem mad?
  • Alan Johnson
    21
    No it's not just you. Under current law it is prohibited to ride a bicycle on the footpath so why a Lime scooter? Having said that, I did think Annalisa had an interesting idea re the speed limit...
  • Tania Curtin
    88
    I agree.... why they are limited to 30kph I cannot understand. If they are allowed to be on the footpath were there are kids, elderly people, and numerous driveways where cars could pull out at any moment and so on... they've got be to limited to something much lower.
  • Melanie Wood
    3
    I think we need to accept these are going to be a reality and work out how to make them safe for everyone. Using them in bike lanes with the use of helmets would be my preference
  • Karl Bridges
    15
    I saw a corker only yesterday whilst waiting for a meeting in Mission bay. A man riding one of these scooters with his very young child who could barely walk clinging onto his leg as he scooted around a busy playground. There is a reason why we have human factors but I am not too sure if the e-scooter companies are aware of it. We are getting a daily demonstration of optimism bias in action.
  • Sue Nicholson
    1
    Maybe we need to be more innovative in our thinking about how we get round our cities. Like creating grids of roads for cars and within that having roads only for slower traffic such and bikes and escooters,
  • Sheri Greenwell
    66
    There have now been at least 2 fatalities involving eScooters in USA. Does NZ really need to wait for its first fatalities to act??
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