|Scooter app adds feature to discourage riding under the influence|
In addition to the dangers of driving under the influence, we should consider the dangers of scooting under the influence.
Shared electric scooter services are an alternative for those who do not own a car and do not wish to hire a Lyft or Uber. But along with the convenience comes a potential problem: people using scooters while intoxicated.
Scooter company Bird, which has more than 250 partner cities throughout the world, has taken note of this concern and is launching a "checkpoint" within its app called Safe Start. It's designed to discourage people from riding scooters under the influence.
Riders attempting to use a Bird scooter between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. will have to verify they can safely use the scooter by correctly entering a keyword into the app.
Bird says the app feature is a way to encourage those who might be under the influence to choose an alternative method of transportation such as a taxi or ride-hailing service. Bird will work with city officials to monitor the effectiveness of the checkpoint.
"Sometimes all you need is that one reminder, that critical moment of deterrence, to change someone's mind and prevent a potentially unsafe situation from taking place," Detective Lt. Mark Marquis of the Tiffin, Ohio, police department, said in a blog post by Bird. "Safe Start from Bird helps afford that moment by asking scooter riders to slow down, step back and think, 'Do I really want to be taking a risk right now by operating a vehicle under the influence?' Ultimately this is a step in the right direction towards keeping our streets safe and secure for everyone."
Safe Start is being tested in the U.S. and will be available globally this summer.
Bird's other safety initiatives include its Ride Better campaign, "Safety School" video series and skid-detection feature designed to help detect worn tires or hazardous and noncompliant riding behavior.
– Wendy Guzman