Footpaths can’t become ‘the new wild west’ with e-scooters – councillor

Long Lunch 25/10/2018
Photo: Supplied.

Auckland Council will seek urgent advice on rules around the new Lime scooters buzzing around Auckland and Christchurch, NZME reported.

The advice is sought after Auckland City councillor Christine Fletcher said she was nearly taken out by one of the motorised scooters earlier today, who she guesses was going about 20km/h.

Ms Fletcher said while she encourages alternative modes of transportation, city footpaths can’t become “the new wild west”.

"I don’t think it’s acceptable for the footpaths to be used if there are speeds in excess of 5km/h. It’s just a recipe for disaster," Ms Fletcher told RadioLIVE.

Indeed, a spokesperson for ACC confirmed that the organisation has 14 claims for injuries since the scooters arrived in New Zealand eight days ago.

“I don’t want to be a killjoy – I think [the scooters] have got their role and we should embrace and celebrate it…

“I’m not saying ban them, I’m just saying let’s make sure that they’re safe for use and we’re not going to do any harm to others on the road at the same time,” Ms Fletcher added.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff thinks the scooters are posing a serious issue and said this morning he discussed it with the Minister of Transport Phil Twyford.

Mr Goff said he wants to examine whether regulation of the scooters is needed, from a safety perspective.

NZME reported Mr Goff said, after seeing people use the scooters on the Viaduct, he was amazed at the speed people were travelling at without helmets.

Lime scooters are available for users to hire through an app for $1 and cost a further 30 cents per minute of use.

There were 500 scooters dropped in Auckland and 400 in Christchurch, with plans to have more within the month.

Listen to the full interview with Christine Fletcher above.

The Long Lunch with Lynda Hallinan, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.