Many of my peers are afraid of electric scooters on our city streets – or rather, the footpaths. As someone who lives in the inner city, in fact, at the top of Cuba Street, Wellington, or as I call it the funky part of town, I’m used to skateboards, rollerblades, electric skateboards and many others sharing the footpath with me – as well as on Cuba Street itself.
For me the rule is very simple, if they are behind me, ignore the noise of a skateboard or such like speeding towards me – I just stay on my trajectory and trust that they will avoid me. So far, that’s what’s happened. I’ve had no near misses, I just stay on the left as I know if I try and get out of their way they will have no idea where the or which way I (or YOU) are going to move and you are likely to be hit or have a near miss.
As my daughter reminded me, it’s like skiing, it’s the skier that is behind you that has to avoid you, not the other way round. E scooters are the same. You just keep going about your business, staying on the left – as we always should – not walking 3 abreast, and all will be well.
Will there be accidents? Of course, there will be but if you adhere to staying on your own trajectory chances are you will not be involved.
Will the E scooter riders obey all the rules – of course not! Only yesterday I saw 2 teenage girls riding, wobbling, one of the orange uber ones (Jump) does everybody parked them considerately – hell no! Common sense is not very common and many scooters are parked at a 45° angle or more from the curb -creating a real hazard for those who are sight impaired. If you are a scooter rider reading this, please think of those people who are likely to trip over your toy.
Most E scooter riders are considerate and value being able to get around the city speedily. sometimes on footpaths sometimes on the road. sadly many do not use a helmet – this may change, just as skiers have. We do have to get the cars off the roads, and scooters are part of the solution AND we do need more people on public transport and we will just have to be considerate of each other
Have I ridden an E scooter – no – but who knows, it could be one of the ‘yets’ in my life. I’m very aware I’m way more risk-averse since I broke my arm on a walk out to Red Rocks in the seal colony in Wellington. ( if I did I would use the pink Flamingo as it’s a New Zealand company)
So, watch this space, but don’t hold your breath :):)