The use of e-scooters has risen sharply in Germany in 2021 and continues apace during 2022. Consequently, with safety part of our DNA at Voi, it has become increasingly important to prevent e-scooter incidents, especially in light of the upcoming changes to COVID-19 measures, which will lift most restrictions on socialising, such as the re-opening of night clubs.
Ops Manager Christian Pfeuffer supervising the safety parcours.
Voi is, therefore, conducting e-scooter safety training sessions, for example at a newly opened mobility hub in Erlangen last week.
As part of the “Road of the Future” initiative piloted by German Fraunhofer Institut and funded by German Federal Ministry of Research and Education, this hub connects a new industry campus with commuter districts in Nuremberg and Fürth, as well as surrounding living areas, to give them a flexible and green transport alternative.
German only – Erlangen’s mayor Florian Janik speaking at the opening event.
Achieving Vision Zero
In order to reach Vision Zero, we believe that it is vital to invest in rider education around safety. Initial surveys indicate that a lack of traffic knowledge is one of the primary risk factors in e-scooter use. “We strongly suspect that a large proportion of all accidents stem from a lack of traffic knowledge and lack of practice with the vehicle,” explains Dr. Michael Zyskowski, functional senior physician at the Clinic and Polyclinic for Trauma Surgery Klinikum rechts der Isar.
Basics first: the Voi team (Patricia Lehnert & Alix Compin) gives an intro to the most important traffic rules – and hands out helmets
Simulating irresponsible riding
In our safety training sessions we are, therefore, prioritising the educational aspects around micromobility. These include a theory session on rules of the road, as well as a practical session on how to ride e-scooters, park them responsibly and other riding tips, under the supervision of experts. As part of our safety campaign, we also highlight the dangers of riding while intoxicated. At the safety events, we simulate riding e-scooters while under the influence, with participants looking through a pair of goggles designed by alcohol and drug abuse centres in Germany. The Voi safety training sessions are accompanied by a study of the Department of Trauma Surgery at the Technical University of Munich, to gain more insight into suitable measures.
German only – participant comments on drunken goggles effect.
Voi’s advocates for stricter policing
These training sessions complement our certified, digital riding school, RideLikeVoila, which was founded in 2019 and an industry-first. As part of the school, riders can answer questions about the e-scooter as well as any applicable traffic regulations – similar to the theoretical part of a driving test. As an incentive, graduates receive credit for their first few journeys. In Germany, more than 200,000 riders have taken part in the driving school to date.
Other illegal and dangerous e-scooter riding behaviour will, of course, also be penalised by authorities and, at Voi, we advocate for stricter control of e-scooter riders by police.
Stephan Boelte, Voi’s Regional General Manager, Germany explains: “Riding an e-scooter in pairs will incur a fine up to €50 in Germany, and you can even lose your driving licence if you drink and drive. In addition to our safety training sessions and riding school we recommend, therefore, cracking down on traffic offenders and making examples of irresponsible riding behaviour to deter others as much as possible.”