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People who want to ride e-scooters at night will have to complete a reaction time test, Source: Bolt

E-scooter company Bolt to implement drunk driving tests across the EU

E-scooter company Bolt to implement drunk driving tests across the EU

Riding an e-scooter under the influence can carry an increased risk of injury and is illegal in many cities

Yesterday, the European micro-mobility company Bolt published their safety report for 2022, showcasing the injuries-to-rides ratio. Despite the report showing some improvement in user safety and the company implementing some measures to prevent reckless driving, many municipalities in the EU are starting to catch up and implement their own regulations on e-scooters and similar services.

This has prompted the company to announce that it will institute an alcohol reaction test as part of its app, with some sources claiming that if the user fails the test, the scooter will just stay locked.  

E-scooter problems across Europe

Ride-sharing services offering micro-mobility like e-scooters and rented bikes debuted in large cities across Europe a couple of years ago and they caught a lot of administrations off guard, as they struggled to classify the new vehicles.

Some local authorities tried demanding driving licenses from riders, arguing that scooters were a form of electric motor vehicles, while others just endured the chaos. Now, a few years down the line, there are many companies who provide these types of offers and they are becoming less and less of a novelty.

In fact, they are commonplace across many cities in the European Union. So much so, that micro-mobility devices have started to crowd streets and threaten the safety of pedestrians.  

This is why several cities have started implementing certain regulations on where people can ride them, what safe driving means for scooters, as well as parking regulations and drunk driving regulations. Stuttgart in Germany, for example, was one of the first cities to launch comprehensive regulations on scooters.

According to the local council there, this was mainly done to prevent drunk driving, as local research suggested it is the main cause of injury in e-scooter rides. The other point of the measures included designated parking spaces to clear sidewalks for pedestrians.

Bolt’s response to drunk driving

In the last four years, Bolt has expanded to over 200 cities across the EU and they have based their report on all that data. According to the report, last year has been the busiest for the company, as rides have quadrupled.

Naturally, the number of accidents and injuries has also increased, although, the company claims that the accident rate per 10,000 rides has dropped by 13%. The same goes for injuries, dropping by 26%.

To expand safety options, the company has introduced a number of measures. The key ones include a weight gauging system, that is supposed to detect cases of tandem riding – when two people ride the same scooter.

It also includes user education materials in the app and a drunk driving test, since driving under the influence is dangerous and also illegal in many cities. Alcohol and other substances can impair a rider’s judgement and reaction time leading to more accidents.

As reported by The Brussels Times, the drunk driving test would activate when people try to unlock scooters between 7:00 PM and 5:00 AM. It will be a quick and simple test using images and it will measure response times. If users fail the test, the app will encourage them to take alternative means to reach their destination.

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