Bird launches safety feature to combat drunk riding

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Bird has announced the launch of Safe Start, a new in-app safety feature designed to prevent people from riding e-scooters while drunk.

Between the hours of 10pm and 4am, riders attempting to hire a Bird shared e-scooter will be asked to verify that they are able to safely handle the vehicle by correctly entering a keyword into the app. 

Those unable to enter the word correctly, will be directed to choose an alternative form of transportation.

The feature is already being tested in a number of cities and will be made available globally throughout the summer.

Safe Start is already being tested in the US and will be made available around the world throughout the summer.

The Bird team will work together with city officials to monitor the effectiveness and impact of the in-app checkpoint, as well as to identify ways in which it can most effectively be enhanced moving forward.

“Late night, scooters and other micro-electric vehicles provide a valuable mobility resource for third-shift workers, bar and restaurant staff and many others,” said Rebecca Hahn, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer at Bird.

“Safe Start is designed to help keep them and all members of the community safe on the streets by encouraging responsible riding and keeping scooters available for those who truly need them.”

Fellow shared e-scooter operator TIER published a detailed piece on drunk riding today, and told Zag that it was “constantly investing” in ways to prevent it.

“Ensuring the safety of our riders, other road users, and the wider public is our top priority,” said Fred Jones, Regional General Manager, Northern Europe at TIER.

“Drinking and riding doesn’t mix. That’s why we’re constantly investing and innovating with industry-first moves to minimise that risk – from highly-visible tube ads and our Ride Safe School with the AA, through to TIER’s partnership with FREE NOW to get people home safely when an e-scooter trip doesn’t make sense.

“We’ve also published our research-led thinking behind these steps and will keep working hard to lead the way when it comes to helping riders make the right choice after a drink.”

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