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E-scooter firm announces the use of front & back licence plates after misuse forced suspension


Image credit: Voi

E-scooter ‘for-hire’ firm, Voi, has announced that they will be implementing a number plate system for their scooters, after they were forced to suspend services in Coventry due to misuse of their vehicles.

Since Voi e-scooters first hit the streets in the UK on 3 September, people have taken over 45,000 rides and travelled more than 98,000 kilometres, the company has said.

A spokesperson for the firm said: “At Voi, safety is number one. In consultation with the city council, we’ve decided to pause our operations in Coventry to assess and improve our services. We look forward to returning to Coventry very soon and making the Voi experience safer and more enjoyable for everyone who shares the road.”

Voi have now put together a list of things they are pushing forward to implement:

  • Double Voi ambassadors on the street to help people ride safely, answer questions, and monitor scooter activity.

  • Increased collaboration between ambassadors and police: if problems arise, they are discussing how the police can step up their enforcement activity, paid for by Voi.

  • Do more to keep pedestrians and riders separate: in consultation with each city, Voi are revising the no-ride and slow-ride zones, based on their learnings.

  • Revise their geofencing: what is geofencing, you ask? It’s a GPS technology that creates a virtual geographic boundary, enabling software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves a particular area. Geofencing technology can be tweaked for each city to ensure that riding occurs in safe, monitored areas. Voi also want to make sure that riders aren’t suddenly slowed (that can be unsafe), so they have gradually decelerated the scooters. Slow-ride zones and deceleration now take effect earlier. Voi will make sure that speeds do not exceed 12.4 mph, and that they can control and stop scooters safely.

  • Introduce number plates on all scooters: Voi say they think it is key to helping ambassadors spot rogue riders. It will also help the public to report people who ride dangerously or remove scooters from the trial zone. Licence plates are not a requirement in the U.K. legislation, but they are already in place in Germany. Voi think this will be crucial to maintaining good behaviour and rider responsibility.

  • Increase rider education: Voi are upping the incentives for people who complete Ride Like Voila, the firm’s online rider training school.

  • Helmet giveaways: Helmets aren’t compulsory, but Voi have already given away hundreds — and say they will be giving away more in Birmingham.

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