Celebrating the theme of ‘Safe Roads for All’ for Road Safety Week (14-20 Nov) means micromobility must be inclusive for all.
At Voi we are determined to achieve its Vision Zero 2030 target as the company’s top priority is the safety of its riders, pedestrians, and other road users. However, the perception of road safety remains a key barrier to adopting micromobility as our Winter Survey 2022 shows riders are likely to feel unsafe on the road during the winter period as the days shorten and the temperatures drop.
The International Transport Forum’s analysis of micromobility accidents reveals heavy, fast-moving vehicles present the greatest road safety risks by causing 80% of fatal crashes, and in the same report, the research also showed that e-scooters are as safe as riding a bike (other and most recent research suggests e-scooters are significantly safer).
Indeed, the theme of this year’s Road Safety Week of ‘Safe Roads for All’ is apt because the perception of safety can be heightened for women riding at night. Voi’s Gender Equity report, produced in partnership with Women in Transport, showed that issues around night-time safety disproportionately affected women as the research cites this as one of the biggest barriers for them to using an e-scooter.
Nine in ten women said they were confident riding an e-scooter in the daytime, yet only 64% at night. Further to this, 83% of women said drivers’ and other road users’ attitudes toward e-scooter riders were a barrier to using shared e-scooters.
Given this, and ahead of Road Safety Week, we hosted a dedicated safety event for women as well as this week a special sold-out twilight event in partnership with the West Midlands Fire Service’s Road Casualty Reduction Team and the West Midlands Police on Tuesday 15 November.
Education and technology keeping riders safe
Innovation, technology and education are a central part of our Vision Zero commitment.
Over the last two years since launching in the UK, we have been doing its bit with regular in-person safety events, in-app education and its online RideLikeVoila safety school to educate thousands of riders in its markets to improve their riding ability and awareness of sharing road space with others.
This education is paying off with riders revealing a near-perfect awareness of the rules of riding, according to our latest survey, as 95% of all riders know not to ride on the pavement and 97% understand they are not allowed to twin-ride. Nearly every rider (99%) understands the no-drink-riding rules for e-scooters, which is much higher than just six in ten car drivers, according to the road safety charity IAM RoadSmart, who know the drink-drive limit.
We have also handed out thousands of free helmets to riders (and other users of micromobility) over the last 12 months.
In addition, Technology is Voi’s in-app features such as the ‘End Ride Photo’ incentivise users to park their e-scooters safely – otherwise they could receive a penalty – whilst the ‘Helmet selfie’ detects and rewards riders for wearing a helmet to encourage safer riding behaviour. Geofencing technology also keeps riders on the straight and narrow with ‘No Ride’, ‘Slow Ride’ and parking zones to ensure the safety of all road users.
Safety is our top priority and helping to make roads safer helps not only unlock cities but makes them inclusive for all.
With over 30,000 rides taken every day for work or education, socialising and running errands, our commitment to safety through harnessing technology, education and innovation has encouraged more people than ever to adopt micromobility knowing it’s not only sustainable and convenient but an overwhelmingly safe experience. However, we know more needs to be done to help more people adopt micromobility.
Celebrating Road Safety Week is a culmination of our hard work throughout the year to deliver on our ‘Vision Zero’ ambition. By educating thousands of riders, distributing even more helmets, and through working closely with our cities in 2022, we and our riders are helping to deliver better places to live.