Reckless Rider Score — what is it, and how does it affect you?

Mar 3, 2023

Two women on Bolt scooters wearing helmets

We developed the Reckless Rider Score feature to improve the safety of scooter riders and other road users.

The score’s based on data picked up by scooter sensors and features on behaviours such as tandem riding, repeated abrupt braking, skidding, poor parking, and more.

Read on to learn why it matters and how it’ll affect you. But first, we’ll show you how this feature came about.

In the beginning, there were two people on one scooter

In pursuit of higher safety standards, we’ve constantly been going the extra mile.

In 2021, we pioneered an industry-exclusive Tandem Riding Prevention System that served as our commitment to protecting riders and pedestrians.

As our behavioural detection capabilities advanced, we expanded from detecting tandem rides to being able to identify skids and abrupt braking.

Yes, skidding is often inevitable, especially on wet surfaces. But it can lead to severe consequences if done carelessly.

Then there were skateparks

Intentional and repeated skidding (more than ten times per ride) indicated a greater problem — riders misusing vehicles beyond safe levels.

After thorough analysis, we identified that repeated skidding mainly happened in skateparks and empty car parks. 

Thus, including these areas in our no-go zones was only natural. By doing so, we preventively discouraged this behaviour and improved rider safety.

And fallen or poorly parked scooters

By 2022, our technology had advanced to the point of recognising scooter collisions and poor parking.

With collisions being a major factor behind scooter accidents, we devised an efficient solution to detect them in real time.

All leading to the Rider Score feature

With these tools, we could audit rider behaviour and highlight reckless habits.

And by putting these tools in one ‘basket’, we created the Reckless Rider Score.

Reckless Rider Score to improve safety

Safety’s our top priority

Incident data collected by Micro-Mobility for Europe showed that in 2021, there were 5.1 injuries per 1 million km travelled on shared scooters — a 60% reduction compared to 2019.

The evidence suggests that scooter safety incidents are dropping. But we aim to push industry safety standards even further with the Reckless Rider Score feature.

Poor micromobility parking as a safety risk

Studies on improper scooter, bike, and car parking suggest that user behaviour and parking practices improve as time and experience progress.

To improve parking practices further, our Reckless Rider Score feature measures poor scooter and e-bike parking.

How does it work, exactly?

If a rider makes at least five rides on a Bolt scooter, we’ll evaluate their riding to ensure their trips are safe for all.

We define reckless riding as being inconsiderate to other road users, not following traffic rules, and careless riding behaviour.

As noted above, the Reckless Rider Score considers many indicators, including tandem riding, improper scooter parking, repeated abrupt braking, skidding, and falls/collisions.

The overwhelming majority of Bolt riders use scooters responsibly. But for the 2% who repeatedly demonstrate unsafe behaviour, we’ll take action according to our new three-step policy:

Step 1. A rider receives in-app educational materials explaining what riding habits they should improve.

Step 2. If a rider doesn’t improve their habits during the five consecutive rides after receiving educational materials, their max scooter speed is limited to 15 km/h*.
Step 3. If riding behaviour remains unsafe for five rides after step 2, we’ll suspend the rider from using Bolt scooters for one week (with an option to dispute the decision through our customer support).

*In applicable markets.

Riders who improve their habits and continue following Bolt’s Terms & Conditions will be able to ride normally, without any conditions.

Educating our riders

At Bolt, we’ve been promoting a safe and responsible scooter culture since day one. We’ve created The Bolt Scooter School, developed a micromobility Safety Toolkit, and urged our riders to park correctly.

98% of our scooter and e-bike riders behave responsibly. As for the remaining 2%, we believe their riding habits can be improved through education.

Thus, as a part of our three-step policy described above, we’ve developed Bolt riding guidelines for scooters and e-bikes.

The guidelines provide helpful in-app tips and advice on avoiding potential risks associated with improper scooter use and poor parking. They include:

The bigger picture

Our mission is to help make cities for people, not cars. Shifting people from private cars to shared mobility is one of the ways to make our cities more people-friendly.

To embrace micromobility and its benefits, we must create safe solutions people want to use. Our Reckless Rider Score takes us one step closer to making shared micromobility safer for all involved.

If you’re ready to join us on our mission and be a role model to any reckless riders out there, open the Bolt app, find a scooter, and ride!

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