Merseyside residents invited to e-scooter safety event
Blind and partially sighted Liverpool residents are invited to a public event to discuss e-scooter safety and learn more about the safety mechanisms adopted by Voi.
The event will take place on 20 June (2-4 pm) at Liverpool Combined Authority Headquarters, Mann Island, L3 1BP.
Merseyside Sight Loss Council, which advocates for the needs of blind people in the city and Voi, the micromobility operator running the e-scooter rental trials in the city, have partnered for the event on Wednesday 20 June.
The event at Liverpool Combined Authority Headquarters, from 2pm is designed to allow blind and partially sighted people to get up close to explore what an e-scooter looks and feels like.
E-scooters are appearing ever more on our streets and pavements, both through the e-scooter trials and private e-scooters – despite the latter still being currently illegal. This has raised concerns amongst visually impaired pedestrians – namely, that e-scooters are too fast and operate almost silently.
Voi has responded to the concerns of blind and partially sighted people by developing new safety messaging for riders and exploring options for an acoustic vehicle alert system.
Kelly Barton Engagement Manager for the Merseyside Sight Loss Council said: “We are grateful to Voi for listening to our concerns and recognising our shared focus in designing practical solutions to the problems our members face. This event will give blind and partially sighted people in Merseyside the opportunity to get up and close with e-scooters and ask questions to Voi and local officers around enforcement of safe use of e-scooters.”
Naomi Ditchfield SLC member for Merseyside said:
“As a guide dog owner, encountering e-scooters just left on the pavement can be frightening for both me and my dog. They are extremely heavy and I am very concerned about them falling on me.”
Merseyside Sight Loss Council is part of a network of councils across the country working to influence positive change. Sight Loss Councils’ #StreetsForAll campaign is calling for a change in government guidance to include:
- Mandatory on-road parking bays for e-scooters
- A reduction to the DfT recommended 15.5mph speed limit
- The installation of sound-emitting devices
- Geotagging to prevent pavement use
Sam Pooke, UK Senior Policy Manager at Voi, said: “We are delighted to continue our engagement with the Merseyside Sight Loss Council and join the e-scooter safety event.
“We have been working closely with organisations representing vulnerable groups to ensure the needs of blind and visually impaired people are considered.
“Liverpool was one of the cities where we piloted e-scooter sounds we have recently launched a partnership with Lazarillo app, which allows blind and visually impaired to receive real-time voice messages on scooter parking locations and report any poorly parked scooter directly to Voi using the ‘Alerts’ feature in the app, improving accessibility.
“Moving forward, we will continue to explore how technology and innovation can ensure that all road users are safe and empowered in the shift from private cars to more sustainable modes of transport.”
Learn more about Sight Loss Councils’ #StreetsForAll campaign: https://bit.ly/3yIZ0WP
Founded in 2018, Voi is a Swedish micromobility company offering e-scooter and e-bike sharing in partnership with towns, cities and local communities. We believe e-scooters can play a central role in changing how people move in our towns and cities in the future. We want to ensure that the micromobility transformation happens the right way – through real innovative technology, open and transparent dialogue with towns, cities and governments and by adapting our products to local needs. Voi has been a carbon-neutral company since January 2020 and has adopted the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a guiding framework.
Voi operates in over 90 towns and cities across 11 countries. It is headquartered in Stockholm and employs 1,000 people. To date, Voi boasts more than six million riders and has served more than 100 million rides.
Publication date: 17 June 2022