Lime, council reach deal over scooters

Lime e-scooters' safety record will continue to be under the microscope when they return to Dunedin streets.

The scooters are expected to be back in service this week after the company agreed in writing to a set of five conditions suggested by the Dunedin City Council.

It has been 12 days since the e-scooters were removed from the city's streets, at the request of the council, due to a malfunction which caused their wheels to lock without warning, injuring riders.

Under the conditions, Lime would now report any serious incidents in Dunedin to the council within 24 hours and within 48 hours for serious incidents anywhere else, including overseas.

Each scooter would be mechanically inspected at least once a week and the council required regular updates from Californian engineering and scientific consultancy firm Exponent, which independently verified changes Lime made to its firmware.

There also needed to be more education on proper behaviour, delivered through the Lime phone app or on-site education.

Council community services general manager Simon Pickford said the company would continue to be under the ''microscope''.

The company had indicated the scooters would return by midweek, Mr Pickford said.

As the council could not require Lime to adhere to the conditions, there had to be a good relationship between the two, he said.

"There's a bit of trust involved but we can obviously ask for those reports and it's fair to say we've got Lime under the microscope at the moment.''

There was no bylaw in Dunedin preventing e-scooters such as Lime from operating but options for regulation were being explored and a report would be presented at a council meeting later this month.

AA motoring affairs general manager Mike Noon said the conditions seemed sensible as long as the council was confident the scooters were safe.

"It's new technology. There's been a bump in the road, so to speak.''

Regulation of e-scooters was not necessarily needed but the public and councils needed to be confident they would operate effectively and safely, Mr Noon said.

"Lime might be the first but they won't be the last.''

Lime did not respond to questions before deadline yesterday.

tim.miller@odt.co.nz


 

Comments

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Wow 'Lime would now report any serious incidents ' if only Cull, Bidrose and the council had thought about this earlier or even for Power pole defects, Drains and the such like. I guess just like the Mainland Cheese ad, Good things take time. Clowns running Dunedin

"Regulation of e-scooters was not necessarily needed but the public and councils needed to be confident they would operate effectively and safely, Mr Noon said"
So nothing about how people use them, once again it's Limes fault if anything goes wrong.

So in that case, obviously the council will require rental cars driven in the Dunedin area, to have had weekly mechanical checks to?
It is only fair (not that dcc is about fairness though mind you)

Take a step back NZ law covers this Cars, have WOF and even if the WOF was issued 3 months ago it is up to the driver to ensure the car is up to the WOF standard before they drive it, otherwise don't drive it. Lime's guidelines should come under the NZTA umbrella so the rules are the same throughout NZ

So Lime will be returning to pavements in Dunedin where I may be walking so I have a question for Lime and the council. Does the new written 'understanding' state who has priority on pavements, pedestrians over scooters for example, and does it cover who is at fault in the event of a collision. I await an answer with interest.

I would say who (if there is a collision) would be at fault is the scooter rider, they chose to ride, they chose to ride on (say) the footpath.
No doubt though if there is a collision that people will be baying for blood from Lime themselves rather than the user.

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