Electric scooter safety guide for true commute heroes
Jun 29, 2022
Greetings, riders! If you’re anything like us, you live for the wind in your hair, the sun on your face, and the feeling of sheer freedom that comes from hitting the streets on two wheels.
However, as a commute hero, it’s important to always put safety first — both for yourself and for those around you.
Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a first-time user, we all need to be on the same page when it comes to keeping everyone safe.
That’s why we’re welcoming you to the hallowed halls of electric scooter safety. Here, we’ll share the wisdom passed down from the greatest e-scooter commute heroes of the past and present.
So strap on your helmet and check your brakes because it’ll be one hell of a ride.
Scooting and the law
Remember, folks; rules are made to be followed when it comes to traffic. And so what if the scooters are lightweight? They are still vehicles, so start respecting them as such.
This means following the basic principles of good ol’ traffic law. Let’s go over a few key points.
Don’t drink and drive
If there’s one thing that can rage the scooter gods — it’s alcohol. Just like any vehicle, scooters and alcohol don’t mix.
And it’s not only the scooter gods you need to worry about. Driving a scooter while under the influence of alcohol or other substances is highly illegal and strictly prohibited.
Doing so will result in a fine and/or your permanent blocking from using Bolt services.
If you can’t resist a little celebratory drink after a long day at work, we recommend ordering a Bolt ride. Let our drivers get you home safe and sound while you sit back and enjoy the ride.
One scooter, one rider
It’s tempting to want to share the experience with a friend or loved one. But there are safe ways to do so.
Instead of riding double on one scooter, why not download the Bolt app and reserve two scooters? That way, you can both enjoy the wind in your hair instead of being crammed together like sardines.
To guarantee the safety of our riders, we introduced a patent-pending tandem riding prevention feature that detects when two people try to ride a scooter and sends a notification to the user to warn them of the dangers of tandem riding.
We get it; when you’re on a scooter, you feel like you can take on the world. But even the mightiest of riders need to obey traffic lights!
Traffic lights don’t just exist for cars. They’re also there for scooters, bicycles, and pedestrians. So when the light goes red, you must always stop — just like in the Squid Games.
Respect traffic rules
Traffic lights aren’t the only tools that regulate traffic. There are also traffic signs, pedestrian crossings and markings, and more. As with traffic lights, you should follow all street signs while riding.
Respect other commuters as they move around the city. After all, we’re all in this together!
Just like cars have lanes on the road, scooters have their own path too — the cycle lane. Riding on the cycle lane is not only safer but also keeps you from being a danger to others.
At some point in the day, we all become pedestrians, and the last thing we want is a scooter to come flying at us as we walk down the pavement.
Not only is it illegal in some countries, but it’s also dangerous and disrespectful. So use the cycle lanes if possible and watch out for pedestrians at all times.
The ABCs of Scooting
Alright, now that we’ve covered the law and traffic, the exciting part begins — riding a scooter! If it’s your first time scooting, prepare to fall head-over-wheels in love.
And to make sure you just fall in love and not, you know, actually fall, let’s go over the ABCs of safe scooting.
Before you even think about pushing the throttle, it’s essential to do a quick safety check before each ride. Here are the basics:
Tyres — check that they’re properly inflated and not flat;
Brake — make sure it’s working correctly and isn’t loose;
Battery — see if there’s enough charge to cover your trip;
Throttle — check it responds properly and that you can accelerate;
Scooter — confirm it’s in good overall condition and doesn’t produce strange sounds when you start.
Wear a helmet
True riders know that helmets are like a superhero’s cape — they make you feel invincible. But unlike a cape, helmets actually protect you from head injuries in the event of a fall.
Regardless of how vigilant you are, accidents can happen. And when they do, a helmet is the only thing standing between your head and the pavement. So please, whenever possible, wear a helmet!
If you watched too much Fast and Furious as a kid or adult (that movie is still going!), you might think that the key to being a good driver is going fast.
But that’s not true! The key to being a good driver is being smooth.
Gently kick off from the ground to start moving, and accelerate gradually, so you have full control of the scooter. You might lose control and fall if you go too fast too quickly.
What goes up must come down, including your scooter’s speed. As much as we want to feel like we’re flying, it’s important to brake gradually and gently to avoid skidding or losing control.
Remember, be smooth!
Communication is key whether you’re in a relationship or on a scooter. If you need to pass someone, give them a little ring-ring with your bell to let them know you’re coming up from behind.
This way, they can move out of the way and avoid getting hit.
Ride smart, ride safe
It’s not just about following the law — it’s about being mindful and considerate of those around you. We’re all trying to get somewhere, so remember — teamwork makes the dream work.
One thing to keep in mind is that cities typically have three designated areas, each with its own scooter rules:
Slow zones are typically high-traffic areas with a lot of pedestrians. We deliberately limit your scooter’s maximum speed in these areas to ensure that everyone can share the space safely.
The adventurer in you might be tempted to take your scooter off the beaten path, but there are certain areas where riding a scooter is prohibited at all times. This is for your safety.
Reward your scooter for being such a good sport by parking it in a designated parking spot instead of abandoning it in the middle of the pavement.
It’s considerate, it keeps the city clean, the scooters happy, and it’s also the law.
The art of parking
We touched on it briefly above, but parking is a topic that deserves its own section. After all, the way you park says a lot about you as a person.
Parking a scooter correctly — and in an appropriate location — ensures your safety and those around you. If parked incorrectly, a scooter may be a hazard to others or might block important access routes.
Let’s go over the dos and don’ts of parking.
Use a designated parking zone or available bike racks — the map inside your Bolt app will show you where you should and shouldn’t park;
Lower the kickstand all the way to ensure that your scooter is stable and won’t fall over;
Leave the scooter in a convenient spot for the next user;
Find a location that’s out of the way of foot traffic and doesn’t obstruct pavements, wheelchair ramps or building entrances;
Park on a flat surface to ensure your safety and that of the next rider;
Pick up scooters that have tipped over and park them properly.
Block pathways — it creates an obstacle for pedestrians and can present a danger for those with mobility difficulties;
Trespass on private property;
Park at bus stops — while scooters may form part of the wider city transport network, that shouldn’t mean blocking access to public transport;
End the ride near emergency exits;
Leave the scooter tipped over — it is a tripping hazard for pedestrians.
Be a true commute hero!
We’ve come to the end of the article, but not the end of the journey. Being a good electric scooter rider is an ongoing responsibility. It’s up to all of us to make sure that we’re safe and considerate on the roads so that everyone can enjoy the ride.
Now that you’ve reached the end of this article, you’re officially a true commute hero! Congratulations — you have what it takes to make our scooter community a safe and responsible one.
And if you notice any unsafe behaviour while you’re out and about, please report it to us.