Duncan Robertson, UK General Manager at Dott, explores the arrival of e-scooters in London and questions the extent to which they are safe.
We’re thrilled that micromobility and sustainable travel are to become part of London’s rich mix of transport options, and part of the revolution to create people-focused streets – in busy cities with crowded public transport, e-scooters are a natural fit, providing meaningful and sustainable change. However, to achieve this: safety must come first. At Dott we commit to the ‘safest rides for everyone’ – and that’s for riders and non-riders alike – it’s completely non-negotiable for us.
Due to our proactive approach to safety, accidents are a very rare occurrence, and we can report 0 severe accidents and only 8 minor accidents (no hospitalisation required, and predominantly involving ankles and knees) per million rides in our existing countries (65% below industry, ITF report 2020). As part of the London trial we will continue to share our data on accident reporting with authorities and research institutes, to identify safety challenges and create solutions.
Some of our most impactful safety innovations include: clearly defined rider zones (slow / no-go zones) and designated parking bays, ID verification to confirm our riders have a valid driving licence and are over 18, plus highly visible turn signals and light controls. We have also created a rider facing initiative called ‘Smooth Rider Club’ and interactive incentivised safety program where riders can earn points towards discounted rides for completing our online or on-location rider safety courses. Our online training available to all was created in partnership with the AA DriveTech, showing new riders the rules of the roads, messages which are also highlighted on our scooters and within the app onboarding education.
For the launch, dedicated Dott street patrol will be visible and on-hand to educate consumers face-to-face. We have also implemented scooter licence plates which enable us to identify individual riders. These unique plates make it easy for enforcement services and the public to report bad driving, theft or misplaced scooters.
For many there is a strong concern around cluttered pavements, and what that means for the visually impared or disabled. We have combatted this issue with the implementation of our ‘smart parking’ feature (read more at www.ridedott.com/blog/uk) which partners built-in GPS location technology with photo enforcement, to ensure vehicles are parked correctly in designated parking bays. Since making this change we have seen over 97% parking compliance amongst riders in Paris and other Dott cities (vs 35% one year ago). On the off-chance that a scooter is left outside of a parking zone, the rider will be fined with a relocation fee and a prompt will be sent to our street teams to pick up and repark the scooter in a safe location (within 3 hours).
By actively encouraging our riders to take responsibility for the safe use of our vehicles, we’re creating an environment of shared initiative and promoting responsible behaviour whenever riding with Dott.
Written by Duncan Robertson, UK General Manager, Dott.
Dott is a micro-mobility European operator founded by Maxim Romain and Henri Moissinac. Dott’s mission is to free our cities with clean rides for everyone. Dott currently operates over 30,000 e-scooters in 16 top cities in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and Poland, and soon London.