The government must regulate e-scooters

The government needs to urgently regulate the introduction of new technology such as e-scooters, says the car review website

Editor Clive Matthew Wilson, who is an outspoken road safety campaigner, says:

“Companies promoting e-scooters are effectively dumping them into the marketplace and trying to sort the mess out later. This is a totally unacceptable way of introducing new transport technology.”

“It’s frightening how easily Lime was able to get around existing government regulations. Initially, the New Zealand Transport Agency was sensibly cautious about e-scooters. NZTA correctly defined e-scooters as motor vehicles. This definition would have slowed down the introduction of these scooters and required them to meet minimum safety standards.”

“However, after former Labour Party president and lobbyist Mike Williams had discussions with both Auckland Transport and the Minister of Transport, NZTA reversed its position, and decided that e-scooters were not motor vehicles. Because NZTA decided that e-scooters were not motor vehicles, Lime scooters were released onto the market without effective controls.”

“The steady stream of accidents followed as night follows day, yet Lime has paid not a cent towards treating the injuries caused by its defective scooters. Lime has also paid only a token amount for the hundreds of hours of city council time involved in sorting out this mess.”

“I’m not against e-scooters. I’m against the way that the promoters of these scooters were allowed to effectively dump their products onto the market without any real planning or supervision. The riders of these scooters and the taxpayer both ended up paying the price.”

Matthew-Wilson believes e-scooters should be banned until the promoters come up with a credible plan for their use.

“Our cities need to be redesigned to cope with e-scooters, at the promoters’ expense. A delay in introducing e-scooters isn’t going to kill anyone. However, leaving these scooters operating in their current manner is already killing and maiming people”.

Matthew-Wilson adds:

“Motorbikes must meet a high standard before they’re allowed on our roads. There are strict controls over how and where motorbikes can be driven. That’s because motorbikes can easily kill innocent people. Why should e-scooters be treated any differently?”