Photo: Mike Lawrie (Getty Images)
If you live in a city with a shared motor scooter program, you’ve likely spotted at least one reckless driver zipping down the street without any regard for basic traffic rules or safety. Maybe the rider or riders failed to wear a helmet, or maybe they were riding on sidewalks or bike lanes. I’ve personally witnessed maniac Revel users in New York City treating the scooters like their own personal go-karts, in many cases at the expense of their own safety.
According to an email sent to customers in its New York City market and obtained by the Brooklyn Paper, Revel has suspended more than 1,000 users in the last 30 days for violating its rules—a figure confirmed to Gizmodo by a Revel spokesperson, who said its service area covers parts of Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens.
In the email, the company wrote that it’s seeing “more people breaking the rules,” which prohibit riding in parks, riding on sidewalks or in bike lanes, riding without a helmet, and sharing user accounts with others—even if, the company wrote, “they ask nicely.” Revel also stated that users must follow all city traffic laws, adding, “We can’t believe we have to say this, but no running red lights.”
A spokesperson for the company wouldn’t comment on specifically how users are being flagged. But the paper reported that in its email, Revel encouraged users to report rule-breakers, writing that if they “see someone breaking the rules, don’t be shy about letting us know.”
The Revel spokesperson told Gizmodo in a statement by email that it works closely with cities to enforce traffic laws, adding that it is “constantly iterating and adjusting our policies to address changing conditions, and [is] currently doing so to address some recent changes in rider behavior.”
“Since launching in 2018, our total NYC ridership is now at nearly 300,000,” the spokesperson said. “The vast majority of Revel riders use our vehicles in accordance with all rules, regulations, and safety policies. We’re focused on taking swift action to address the behaviors of the small portion of riders committing safety violations, as we’re firmly committed to public safety and the health of our communities. We’ll continue to work together with New York City and our local communities to promote safe transportation practices across the city.”
Electrics scooters, like most things with wheels that go fast, are a blast to ride and a fairly cheap alternative to taking a car. Particularly in cities where driving is a premium, they can also be incredibly useful. But don’t be a dummy by putting yourself or others at risk. And for the love of god, wear a damn helmet.