Let’s start by being honest about the fact that the behaviour of a minority of scooter riders gives the rest of us a bad rap.
As we’ve mentioned before, new rules and regulations regarding electric scooters are being formed even as you read this. Public acceptance of this new mode of transport and how well e-scooters integrate into existing traffic networks are important factors in this ongoing conversation. It doesn’t help our cause when a few bad apples act in a way that makes all e-riders look bad.
It’s only reasonable to expect that the rights of e-scooter riders will be greater if the rest of the public doesn’t view them as a nuisance. That means that we as a community can do a lot to improve our own image by following a few simple rules to reduce the opportunities for conflict.
So let’s check ourselves before we wreck ourselves and become ambassadors for the electric revolution with these tips in mind!
Yes, traffic laws apply to you too
Ok, this is not so much a tip as a statement of fact. Why do so many people on e-scooters act as though stop lights and street signs are things to simply go around or ignore? Not only are you subject to the same road instructions as motor vehicles (both under current and presumed future laws) but can we just agree that acting responsibly is just the right thing to do?
What kind of advocate for electric mobility are you if people sitting in car traffic watch you whiz past the same red light that has them waiting? Don’t do that. And not just because it’s wrong but there’s also the rather obvious point that ignoring red lights, one-way streets signs, etc. can be seriously bad for your health.
Say it with us—Traffic laws apply to e-riders too!
Be considerate of pedestrians
Here’s where we ask you to rely on your good judgement (and we’ll skip any jokes about your good judgement).
In areas shared by pedestrians, bike riders and e-scooters, don’t treat everyone else like they’re orange cones on a driving course. Your extra speed and mobility give you the ability to weave in and out of crowds and people just walking by but this is where “can” meets “should”. And, no, you should not closely zip past people who are moving much more slowly than you.
If you and a pedestrian are heading towards the same space at the same time, slow down or pass them while moving behind them. Remember that any collision is unlikely to end well for anyone involved, so be sure to ride at a speed appropriate to the conditions.
Control your speed
And speaking of speed, watch it all times, not just when around people. No one is waving a black & white checkered flag on the paths you take (right?) so don’t treat everything like a race. If you have to experience the max speed of your e-scooter, do it under safe, controlled circumstances and get it out of your system. Then go back to maxing out at about 20 km/h.
At top speed, even the force of riding over small bumps gets amplified and if you’re not paying attention as you should (see next point on list) this can be dangerous. Speed and control have an inverse relationship and every rider has to find his or her comfort point. We’re just asking you to find it somewhere under “MAX SPEED”.
And don’t forget the extra drain on the battery that comes from going at top speed all the time. Bring it down by 5 km/h and deliver more control and a much longer battery charge while dramatically reducing the chances of an accident—sounds like a good deal, right?
Riding an e-scooter demands your full attention
Translation: put your phone away. We can’t believe we have to say this, but there is space for two hands on every scooter’s handlebars for a reason. We’re not sure what future regulations will say about listening to music or speaking hands-free by phone while riding an e-scooter but we think it’s a safe bet that “ride with two hands” will be somewhere in the rules.
Again, common sense applies here. You’ll just have to wait until your journey is over before you can post pics of your lunch or change your relationship status.
Hey, life moves fast.
Don’t park like an #&$%!*
No, our keyboard isn’t broken and you know what we mean. The number one complaint about e-scooters among non-riders is probably the too-common habit of leaving scooters just...wherever.
We get it. We love scooters here at JIVR, we make them and the parking thing drives us crazy too.
In every park, on every street and in front of every building, there are spaces that are clearly not meant for an electric scooter (or anything else). Don’t leave your scooter anywhere where it’s likely to be in someone’s way or interfere with traffic flows, pedestrian or otherwise.
Remember what we said about good judgement?
Ok, enough lecturing for today. We’re sorry for the tough love but we really believe that the responsibility for bringing everyone on the road together is on us. So let’s take control of the things we can influence to make the integration of scooters as smooth as possible as best we can.
By using two hands, of course.