After being put on thin ice by city council earlier this week, Kelowna’s shared e-scooter providers banded together to provide some free safety training.
Lime, Roll, Bird and Zip collaborated for Scoot Safe; a program that provides e-scooter safety awareness by informing riders about the laws, wearing helmets and how to properly park.
“We want to ensure that everyone is safe, and being able to provide this is just a great start. This is something that we do to make sure everyone is prepared and feeling more confident on their vehicles,” said Kyle Erickson, Lime’s Canadian operations manager.
Participants were taught how to inspect the scooter for possible damages or defects before driving it, then they took a test drive on city bike lanes.
Resident Wayne Kondruk said he thinks it’s a good idea to get proper training on how to use the new devices.
“Same as you get a license for your car, learn how to ride a scooter,” he added.
The event ran from noon until 3 p.m. on Wednesday, and admission was free. Scooter providers gave participants free helmets, a mandatory accessory for riders but something that isn’t exactly a common sight while watching the scooters zip around the city and one of many concerns raised by city council at a meeting on Monday.
Shared e-scooters popped up in Kelowna in mid-April after a provincial pilot permitted scooters on streets in the same way bicycles are.
Months after, roughly 1,000 scooters are deployed across the city every day by the four operators. The public has criticized the program for a number of issues, including drunk riders, improper parking, and driving on sidewalks.
City council endorsed 19 staff-recommended changes to the shared e-scooter program and requested that staff come back before with another report before end of the month to explore further changes.
Erikson said similar issues pop up every community that has e-scooters in regards to safety or improper parking,
“It’s just something we want to continue to identify and try to avoid,” he explained.
The scooter companies hope to continue to host the free information sessions throughout the summer.