A couple of days ago Stuff reported that the government was considering limiting the speed of Lime scooters on footpaths to 10 kph, as part of a broader suite of changes.

Work is under way on law changes that will impose a 10kmh speed limit for Lime electric scooters, with the Government set to consult on the new rules early this year…

…But the scooters soon became a topic of controversy, with Auckland Mayor Phil Goff ordering an urgent scooter safety report in October after councillor Christine Fletcher was almost hit by a rider.

Goff later raised safety concerns with Transport Minister Phil Twyford. In his letter, he asked that the Ministry of Transport instruct police to pull up “dangerous scooter use” and raised the possibility of a e-scooter speed limit.

Stuff has been provided with a copy of Twyford’s response.

It shows the Government is considering a package of law changes called Accessible Streets, which aim to increase the safety of all users on the footpath.

“Among the proposed measures is a proposed maximum speed limit for all vehicles that are allowed on the footpath,” Twyford wrote.

“I expect that this package will be ready for consultation in early 2019.”

A spokeswoman for duty minister Grant Robertson said the maximum speed limit proposed under Accessible Streets was 10kmh.

If implemented, the limit would apply to Lime scooters being used on the footpath, she said.

This feels like a bit of a ‘knee-jerk’ response and it will be interesting to see the logic and justification behind 10 km/h, rather than a different number. Certainly the most appropriate speed will vary significantly depending on wide, smooth and busy the footpath is. For example, riding a scooter at 20 kph around the far reaches of the viaduct where there are wide footpaths and generally not too many people is probably safer than 10 kph down Queen Street’s busy footpaths. One risk of discouraging scooterers (is that even a word) from using the footpaths is that they will end up riding on the roads and putting themselves in much greater danger.

One silver lining is that if this goes ahead, it will make delivering cycleways – where people can ride their scooters at full speed – even more important. Auckland Transport need to get on with accelerating their cycleway programme.

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97 comments

  1. It’s quite a bit of cognitive dissonance that people are freaking out about a couple people almost being hit by Lime Scooters but yet are fully accustomed to jumping out of the way when a car turns into a driveway across the sidewalk without slowing. Where’s the emergency package of regulation ensuring the safety of pedestrians against turning traffic?

      1. Yes but it’s widely considered to be socially acceptable, so people keep doing it.

        In the same way that drink driving used to be widespread because it was socially acceptable (despite being illegal). Society’s attitude changed over time and drink driving has reduced as a result.

  2. The one size fits all approach is not right.

    It makes sense to have low speed in queen st. However having 10kmh at wide footpaths with no people is not necessary.

    Such restrictions will make the lime scooter unattractive because they lost the speed advantage yet more expensive to travel the same distance.

    It may just kills off the useful and popular form of micro mobility revolution.

  3. “Auckland Transport need to get on with accelerating their cycleway programme.”

    And, their reduced speeds programme. Plenty of our streets could safely welcome scooters onto the roads if the speeds were reduced to what is appropriate there anyway.

  4. “One risk of discouraging scooterers (is that even a word) from using the footpaths is that they will end up riding on the roads and putting themselves in much greater danger” – much better (but agreed, not good) that they put themselves in danger rather than putting people on the footpath in danger – or appearing to be doing so, perception being reality.

    Footpaths are for pedestrians, and anything that discourages or impedes this essential fact needs to be looked at very closely indeed.

    1. Footpaths are not solely for pedestrians and never have been.

      They are for people in wheelchairs, babies being carried or in prams, children on/in a variety of wheeled devices, mobility scooters, dogs, joggers, outdoor diners, and a myriad of other users. I sort of agree with your sentiment but we do need to remember footpaths have always serviced a wide variety of users, not just pedestrians.

      1. If pedestrians are defined to include those other users (like the ones you mention) who cannot use the carriageway, as is commonly done, footpaths always have been just for pedestrians. Things like outdoor diners and the “myriad of other users” are permitted only be exception, and that should apply to all devices than can use the road and/or threaten to disrupt pedestrian (as defined above) usage.

        It’s pedestrians who are the essential lifeblood of the city!

        1. I don’t think that definition is very helpful because all those users meet your criteria; they can all legally use the carriageway, and they can all disrupt pedestrians.

          Footpaths have always been about a wide variety of users co-existing safely because users voluntarily choose to behave sensibly. To me e-scooter riders are just the same. If people use them sensibly then everyone’s safe, if they don’t then they’re not.

          1. Actually I take that back, I thought I’d read previously on here that technically pedestrians are allowed to walk down a roadway, but just looked up the legislation and they’re not.

          2. Thanks, Chris, for confirming that scooter riders have a choice about where on the road they ride but pedestrians (etc.) do not have any choice about where on the road they walk (etc.).

            Theoretically pedestrians are considered to be at the top of the urban mobility hierarchy, but practically they are at the bottom, with much of the space that they are legally restricted to being increasingly encroached on by others (whether legally or illegally).

  5. You can’t do any damage to yourself or others on an e-scooter that you can’t do on a bike. Why is no-one panicking about the dangers of bikes too?

    – Bikes aren’t meant to be on footpaths.
    – Bikes have been around a long time, predating cars even.
    – Most people who cycle, learned to do so as children in low speed, relatively safe environments.

    I think the last point is actually the most important. Six months ago very few people had ridden an e-scooter. Now a bunch of adults with no previous experience are learning to ride as they go, in a high-speed, unforgiving urban environment.

    Perhaps new Lime account holders should be electronically speed limited for their first 30min (at a discounted hire rate)?

    Also The Spinoff did a good piece on what a dumb idea a 10km/h speed limit is: https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/17-01-2019/a-10km-h-footpath-speed-limit-will-limit-more-than-lime-scooters/

    1. While a blanked 10km/hr limit is not so smart, it’s not correct to hold that the ability to cause harm is the same on scooters and bikes.

      Scooters are unarguably a more risky mode of transport for both the rider and those in close proximity due to simple laws of physics – The size of the wheels, the way that they’re steered, etc.

      The issue is a mixture of competence, intelligence/empathy and capacity for speed. Sometimes people simply don’t think about the impact of their actions on others – A scooter rider may consider their actions to be perfectly safe when riding at 27k past a pedestrian, because the rider “knows” they’re not going to crash into the pedestrian. Unfortunately, pedestrians can be unpredictable/distracted and accidents happen. This is really a cultural issue – If we all (pedestrians, motorists, cyclists, scooter riders alike) had the mentality of “what can go wrong and how am I mitigating/managing the risks”, we wouldn’t have so many injuries.

      In light of that, if education fails, enforcement is the only tool left, albeit a blunt one. I suggest that as GPS technology (even A-GPS) isn’t able to determine if you’re on the footpath or road with sufficient accuracy, it shouldn’t even be considered. Nor should any technology be applied on the vehicle itself. What should occur is no speed limits in SW/HW beyond the present limits, allow use of cycle lanes (I’ve not seen many cyclists who’d be impaired by an occasional Lime rider) and law/bylaw limiting all similar vehicles to 10-15km/hr on the footpath (which allows scooters to use the footpath when a cycle lane is not available). Enforcement is a tricky thing, but to knee-jerk as the government proposal allegedly has is not smart, or useful.

    2. Spot on with the comments on how new people are to this. By all means explore avenues to accommodate these things (I used “avenues ” deliberately – they should be on an enhanced cycleway network taking over road space) but everyone just needs to take a chill-pill.

      I doubt data is available but I am guessing that when cars went mainstream we had a host of incidents and medical injuries we didn’t get previously. We adapted, without banning the car (though we did introduce speed limits…)

  6. Assume they have never ridden one before because its actually quite tricky to go 10 kmh or under, 15 kmh is a perfectly acceptable crusing speed which keeps the user in control ,that said thats just my own experience…

    Like mentioned, I’d like to see the Data that has led to the justification, its 2019 after all and we should be able to make evidence based decisions…

    Looks like I wont be able to jog on the footpaths anymore as Im quite certain I’d be going faster than 10 kmh..watch out for me running down the road!!!!

    1. Your stopping distance and collision avoidance are far more efficient when jogging though. Wheeled vehicles essentially follow a lineal path – sideways crash avoidance is not a feature.

  7. Excellent, this will limit the speed of those extremely dangerous NZpost 4-wheelers, and those lethal old-folk disability scooters which take up the whole width of the footpath.

    1. @Percy

      Can you prove or demonstrate that they are ‘extremely dangerous’, what evidence or data are you taking that from? Lethal is defined as sufficient to cause death, how many people have died from the NZ Post carts?

        1. People seemed pretty OK with this sort of thing until THOSE DARN LAZY MILLENNIALS started doing things.

          Auckland is not a great place to be under 40.

          1. Yeah, I was down in Christchurch at Christmas time, and I felt the same thing there. Restrictions on where you are allowed to ‘Cruise’. I seem to remember that my parents’ generation went for “Sunday Drives”… if that’s not cruising, I don’t know what is.

            Loitering and cruising and drinking in public places are bad if it’s the young people doing it.

          2. Agree with all of this. New Zealand has an awful prejudice against young people. As long as young people are doing it, it is a stupid dangerous fad, or done far more stupidly than whenever the commenter was younger.
            Cycling for transport: Stupid dangerous fad
            Lime Scooters: Stupid dangerous fad
            Teenage drinking: They’re drinking more, and younger, and always driving afterwards (check the data, btw all of those are wrong)

            I’d also love to see how they are going to define an e-Scooter in law to not include the NZ Post vehicles or mobility scooters, and include any e scooters with a dummy wheel.

  8. There are very few vehicles you can pick up and carry faster than you can legally ride them. Somewhat defeats the purpose of ‘mobility’.

    I always have a giggle when I see unreasonably low speed limits . One downtown carpark has an 8kmh (!) limit. Having rules is not a bad thing, but stupid rules should be called for what they are.

  9. I jog two to three times a week. I’m in my mid 50s, 10kg overweight and with short legs so you’ll gather that I’m not the fastest jogger out there. In fact, I’m one of the slower ones. But when I jog I do so at 10 – 12 km/h (or as we joggers tend to think of it – 5:00 – 6:00 min / km). My son is in his mid 20s and is a bit keener than me – his normal jogging speed is 15 km/h but he doesn’t scare little old ladies with his speed as he passes them.

    Any attempt to limit scooters to 10km/h is just ridiculous. Anybody riding a scooter slower than I jog would be in danger of falling off due to lack of momentum! If Twyford feels the need to “do something” then perhaps he should do it at 20 km/h rather than 10 km/h. Even then, some Marathon runners would be in danger of breaking the limit and even I could go faster than that for a short period (a very short period, in my case).

    1. Your stopping distance and collision avoidance are far more efficient when jogging though. Wheeled vehicles essentially follow a lineal path – sideways crash avoidance is not a feature.

      1. Seems like you’ve never used a lime. Trivial to stop quickly at 15km/hr, and easy to just step off at that speed as well.

    1. I’ll keep an eye on it, though. I might need to limit the number of organic avocados I distribute through my purchasing group. Don’t want to feel responsible.

      1. Measured by the smash statistics.

        BTW, feijoa’s good on toast. You can even scoop it out and freeze it, and use it as a toast spread all through the winter. But you probably knew that.

  10. “is scooterers even a word”?

    I think convention is that people who ride scooters would generally be called scooterists in the same way that riders of bicycles are called cyclists and drivers of motor vehicle are called motorists etc.

    Of course some might consider scooterists nothing but (footpath) maggots.

    I have no comments on that.

    1. In the same way that we can call those who Tweet, either a Twitterer or a Twat, I’d like to propose that we call those who use a Scooter, either a Scooterer or a Scat. In both cases the short form word has several advantages, including the double meaning which seems rather appropriate in both cases….

  11. Agree that a fixed speed would be counter-productive. Perhaps dangerous scootering could be a traffic infringement and those caught doing it get a small fine, that way the main focus would be on how their actions impact on people in any particular moment. Perhaps rules could include not getting too close to pedestrians, not to overtake at speed, to limit one’s scootering to walking pace when within two metres of a person and to stay on the road side of the pavement so as not to hit or be hit by opening gardening gates, people coming out of shops or turning corners into the road etc.

    As and when they improve cycle lanes it would be great if they become wide enough for cyclists to overtake particularly if they will be used by a mix of pedal bikes, electric ones and scooters. Traditional cyclists change their speed a lot more often depending on the incline. They are also often a bit slower to get going but hit higher speeds.

  12. I think a much more fundamental review of the allocation of street space, with corresponding restrictions on use on each passageway type on a roadway is required.
    Historically we have catered very well for high speed, heavy and generally wide road vehicles, (cars trucks buses and motorbikes) and given them almost total priority. Pedestrians have been catered for inadequately at best, and not at all in rural areas. Conditions for cyclists were systematically eroded in competition with the heavy vehicle priority. In recognition of the danger cyclists faced the only measure imposed was to make helmets compulsory.
    An increasing awareness of the unsustainability of continuing this way has given us the broad based Transport activisim that is leading to changes, enhanced public transport, and better provision for pedestrians and cyclists. Transport planners and politicians have been seduced by the prospect of driverless cars, for them, they have the advantage that minimal changes are required from existing roading prioritization. Just a lot, lot more of the same requiring even more heavy vehicle lane kilometres.
    The advent of compact lithium bateries has suddenly introduced new low cost compact vehicles that requires a much more fundamental rethink then just imposing some speed limits to our existing roadway designs.
    Firstly we require a new vehicle classification (s) that encompases the fundamental characteristics of these vehicles that currently includes powered scooters and hoverboards.
    They are low powered, Set an upper power limit. They have low mass, Set an upper limit on mass. They are narrow, Set a maximum width. I will designate them ELPVs (extra light powered vehicles.

    Now we need to look at the differing possible space allocations on a roadway. Suggestions:

    Foot paths -Cycles allowed subject to current restrictions except no rider helmet requirement. ELPV’S allowed. 10kph limit all vehicles
    Separated Cycleways – Helmets not required on any vehicle. ELPV’S allowed.
    Cycle lanes. ELPV’S allowed. Helmet rule to be consistent with cyclist requirement. Lighting requirements for ELPV’S to be consistent with requirements for cycles.
    General Roadway. Cycles allowed. ELPV’S allowed on roads with posted speed limits of 40kph or less and where there is no cycle provision.

    Finally roadway design needs to accommodate both the requirements and potential popularity of light weight powered vehicles.

  13. Phil Goff is being a politician about this if you ask me. Due to the bad press coverage of Limes & not wanting to get off side any more with the Christine Fletcher, Mike Lee etc “other half” of the council governing body spat we had a while ago. At least he’s on to the red light camera and other issues also.

    1. Makes you wish that scooter had hit Christine Fletcher then we wouldn’t have to listen to her meaningless drivel… oh wait no even if she was hit by a scooter it’s about the same as being hit by a jogger… not usually life threatening or even serious.

  14. Every minute we talk about this, every article written about it, every blog post comment, all we are doing is not talking about the unfair allocation of space given to cars.

    I’m worried that someone in council and/or at the herald knows this and they are winning.

    1. Mmmm. How many progressive Herald campaigns have we seen on :

      Vehicle crossings forming long stretches of footpath, meaning pedestrians are basically walking along a carpark.

      Pedestrian amenity so poor there’s no point walking to the token crossing devices where you have to wait minutes and there is still the risk of being hit.

      Cars parked all over the footpath and children having to walk onto the road to get around them.

      This ain’t about pedestrian safety. This is about resisting change and resisting anything sustainable that threatens the car dependent status quo.

      1. I agree. Walk or drive any distance in Auckland and you will see cars parked on and blocking the entire footpath. I can only recall reading outcries in the media from the very rare cases tickets are issued, never about the actual illegal act.

      2. “This ain’t about pedestrian safety” – it may not entirely be about pedestrian safety, but it’s certainly a significant issue.

  15. Seems like a classic case of pointless unenforceable law to try and appease the public, that ultimately is unenforceable and creates more issues than it solves. Are those like Goff and Twyford expecting police or AT officials to carry laser speed guns to register the speed, to ensure accurate measurement?
    Cars also get some allowance for inaccurate measurement, but doing this could mean massive diffences in actual speed.
    With speeds limits on road/cycle paths and footpath different Lime also won’t be able to put on restrictions.

    Like bikes these should be banned from footpaths.
    Why not simply limit footpath to methods powered by foot contact with the ground (walking, runniers, non e scooters, etc), and provide an exception for mobility issues, in which case they would have some sort of mobility card like with car parks.
    This approach is similar to the current classifying of ebikes under bikes rather than motorcycles as require peddling.

    Anything too specific will mean more changes when the next thing comes along.

    1. ALL streets (including shared spaces) have a speed limit; in urban areas the default is 50km/h unless they are resolved as something different.

      1. Wouldn’t it be good to have a safer default such as 30km/h requiring a review to increase speed, rather than the faster limit of 50km/h requiring a review to increase safety? (The same applies to the having a default open-road limit of 100km/h instead of 80km/h.)

        1. No argument from me; I’ve always thought that the One Network Road Classification system is the obvious starting place for having a more nuanced set of default limits, rather than just “urban/rural”

    1. Here’s challenge: Go drive a car at 10kmh. Then go try and do the same with a bike or motorbike and try staying upright.

      10kmh is so slow that most speedos won’t register it correctly, and other vehicles more than capable of breaking it aren’t required to have them.

    2. The article didn’t say you couldn’t have a 10km/h speed limit (eg we have one along the Oxford River Promenade in Christchurch); AT were evidently just a bit slack in doing proper due process to make it happen. Annoying red tape perhaps, but such is the way the current Setting Speed Limits process works.

  16. Who is going to enforce this social engineering nonsense?

    I mean it’s all good and well to propose 10 km or 5 km or what ever the elderly think will do and is safe and so very sensible but it’s bullshit. Is a cop going to get a radar out and ticket people? Doing 13 km/hr in a 10 km/hr zone. Jesus wept.

    What would the offence be, outraging a Nana, or Chritine Fletcher? Is this worthy of any resources being put into this over something that may actually be a crime or cause real harm?

    E scooters don’t need licences anyway or proof of identity. Will there be a pursuit policy for scooters failing to stop? It’s hillarious to be honest.

    Bikes ride without adherence to most rules and no one does anything if they don’t anyway.

    Practically, this is a complete and utter waste of time but makes politicians feel useful if not making them look like fools and proving just how impotent they really are!

  17. Forget speed limits. More to the point is this: the rider of an e-scooter that collides with a pedestrian or other vehicle is currently not required to stop and render assistance. Nor is he/she obliged to give identification details to anyone, including police.

    He/she can simply get back on and ride away, safe in the knowledge that ACC will pick up the tab. Bystanders cannot report a license plate number, because there isn’t one. Sooner or later, a very serious collision is going to occur and the offender will be unidentifiable.

    1. I wouldn’t imagine our responsibility to each other is only enshrined in law if we’re driving a car, Neil. Do you have a reference for this?

    1. Breach of the Peace carries no penalty and no one arrested for it would go to court anyway and transport offences are not it’s intended purpose. No one arrested for speed or crashes using this act and section.

      Again, parliament can pass all the pointless laws they want but unless these scooters are classified as a motor vehicle, which technically they are, has a licence plate and all the other obligations a motor vehicle driver must comply with, it’s symbolism pure and simple.

      1. Huh, we manage to have road rules that apply to cyclists and they’re not required to license plates. And I’m pretty sure they can go a lot faster than 10kmh.

        Also: Breaching the peace, for using a scooter? I say we just execute anyone out on the street after dark. You know, for the greater good.

        1. Buttwizard
          What I was suggesting in responding to the real neil, is that a scooter rider who was involved in an accident could be identified through an arrest for breach of the peace.
          “Sooner or later, a very serious collision is going to occur and the offender will be unidentifiable.”

          Do people involved in car crashes get arrested through this method? No they don’t because other means exist. Will an arrest be upheld by the Courts? Well who knows – that is the Judicial process. Would anyone even bother to challenge given that they won’t be prosecuted – it seems unlikely.

          https://www.change.org/p/auckland-transport-save-takapuna-s-buslane-ea775f08-ad54-4d4f-8d29-0e7c3bacbf74?recruiter=546144569&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition

          1. Breach of the Peace is NOT a chargeable offence that goes to court, ever! It is pointless and judges take very dim views of laws being misused to fit square pegs into round holes. It is a behavioral offence in the Riot section of the Crimes Act for that purpose.

            Maybe just maybe if some idiot injured someone whilst scooting outside the rules then something like Injuring with Intent Section 189(2) but in the area of reckless disregard for the safety of others. There would have to be a fair bit proven to get home on that one however and how you would prove speed and recklessness just for starters to the very high judicial standard of Beyond Reasonable Doubt, would be difficult.

            Again for motor vehicles injury crashes are dealt with by transport legislation not criminal and no intent is required, It is always a straight liability on the driver. .

        2. Huh, we have road rules for cyclists, not that anyone would know it and who do what they want anyway. They are optional in practice. And who ever does a thing about cyclist breaching road rules and when was the last time you saw the police stop a push bike?

          1. Waspman
            No, the Section is, “Breach of the Peace,” and then follows provisions about riots. I am not sure that it is helpful to debate whether this section is useful to charge someone, because I agree with you that it is not. It may be useful to get someone’s name which is the proposition that I was addressing, raised by “the real neil”.

            We have enough laws that aren’t enforced. e.g. driving on a cell phone, where people drive into each other because distracted, sometimes causing injury and sometimes death. And then we have the situation where there are no rules e.g. driving after consuming drugs. The Police barely have a test for it and yet more people kill themselves, or others than are affected by alcohol.

            It might be useful to address the things that matter the most.

            https://www.change.org/p/auckland-transport-save-takapuna-s-buslane-ea775f08-ad54-4d4f-8d29-0e7c3bacbf74?recruiter=546144569&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition

  18. Most cyclists take their chances on the road and scooter users can do the same. They can take a look around and make a reasonably informed decision about personal safety. Foot paths are for pedestrians. This blog used to champion pedestrian rights but now it’s gone all gooey over lime scooters. Jesus wept indeed.

    1. > They can take a look around and make a reasonably informed decision about personal safety

      .. And apparently most of them decide they feel safer riding on the footpath.

      I ride Limes on the road, as a regular cyclist I’m already familiar with using a vehicle in that space, but I can fully understand why people do not feel comfortable on the road (on a scooter or on a bike).

      Also apparently some drivers don’t seem to like scooters on roads.. got yelled “Ride on the footpath, man!” from a passing car along Dominion Rd.

      I think “this blog” would love to see our roads safe enough for anyone to feel comfortable there on a bike or scooter.

      1. On Christmas day, the driver of my bus in Christchurch yelled at a scooter rider to get off the road until said rider did so. Company instructions to the driver, apparently. And in a 30 km/hr zone. Pathetic.

  19. Perhaps not surprising for Stuff and their penchant for click-bait, but the discussion here (and elsewhere on social media) might be more useful if there was a bit more context made clear:
    * The proposal is for a speed limit on footpaths only, not shared paths, cycleways, roads, etc (I suspect that the “far reaches of the viaduct” is actually technically not a footpath?)
    * The proposal is not just for Lime scooters, or even just e-scooters. It is for all wheeled devices/vehicles on footpaths. I don’t think that the likes of joggers will be included.
    * This wasn’t driven by the arrival of Lime, or the insistence of Phil Goff (although no doubt these things focused the minds of the Minister/Ministry a bit). The “Accessible Streets/Pathways” rules package has been kicking around since early last year and follows the NZTA research in 2017 (report #621) on regulations for e-bikes, mobility scooters, and other low-powered devices.
    * Remembering that we have already had since 2004 rules regarding path behaviour, including a rule requiring users on paths to “not operate the device at a speed that constitutes a hazard to other footpath users” ($100 fine BTW). An introduction of a specific speed limit might help simplify things, but it still relies on some level of enforcement, education, and probably peer pressure to make it work.

    (P.S: personally, I think a 15km/h limit might be more practical, given the difficulty of some devices to even stay upright/stable at 10km/h…)

    1. To my mind, allowing devices to go faster along the footpath because they can’t go any slower would be absurd, missing the whole point of having such a speed limit on the footpath. Apart from the speed differential being that much greater (and the time to react that much shorter), the energy dispersed in a 15km/h collision is more than double than for a 10km one, with consequent increased potential for injury and damage.

      Surely the place for a device that can’t operate below 15km/h is on the road or cyleway? It’s certainly not on the footpath!

  20. ABSURD, cognitive dissonance indeed.

    Where’s the proposed (10kmh) 30 kmh speed limit on cars network wide???

    Road toll: 2018 now deadliest year on New Zealand roads since 2009
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12184176

    All NZ politicians (local & central) should be forced via legislation to do a proper business case and regulatory impact assessments on all central & local government proposals so that there is proper evidence based approach rather than knee jerk reactions.

    1. That’s probably why they’ve already spent a good year on the proposal to date, and it’s still to go to public consultation…

  21. There is to much hype about Lime and their product. To me, Lime provides a rental vehicle service, like any other rental car, rental van, etc operators, should have a rental vehicle operator licence, pay the necessary ACC levies, etc and provide the necessary safety equipment due to the lack of protection in an accident, as in the case of the serious injury accident in Dunedin last Thursday where an 18 year girl was hit by a truck.

    E-scooters and e-bikes whether rented or privately owned that have a maximum speed over 10kph should used dedicate cycle ways or dedicated e-scooter/e-bike ways NOT foot paths.

      1. Heidi – That is an issue the NZTA and locals needs to address, if they allow a vehicle that have a speed over 10kph to be introduce without the appropriate infrastructure and regulations in place to cater for them, especially since there has been another serious injury accident with a Lime scooter and a vehicle in Epsom on 20 Jan 19. How many more serious injury accidents and possible deaths are needed before NZTA and local councils need before they get off they hands and do something about introducing regulations and necessary infrastructure.

        1. Oh, about 378 deaths a year won’t even get you there, Kris. Unless there’s a double standard going on.

          Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to claim escooters are safe. I don’t know if they are, because the data of DSI in an environment of experienced users and appropriate infrastructure isn’t available. I personally have never been on one. But the idea that people using a far more sustainable mode of transport than cars are have to fight out it with them is inflexible madness.

          In urban areas, the solution to this is 30 km/hr except on motorways and where separated cycle infrastructure exists. And the benefits of mode-shift, walkability and environmental, health, and social outcomes will be huge. The research is there. Let’s do this.

          1. “people using a far more sustainable mode of transport than cars” – agreed if that were in fact the case, but I understand that initial indications are that the mode shift to scooters appears to be from sustainable modes (walking and PT), not from cars.

            I look forward to proper analysis!

    1. And while we’re at it, any cars that have a maximum speed over 50km/h should only use dedicated motorways…

      …or we could just insist that vehicle operators adjust their speeds according to the environment they’re driving/riding in…

  22. If some of you can take a step back for a minute you might see that some of you are making the same knee jerk responses car drivers do when a lane is closed to make way for a cycleway. You’re getting upset because you think a 10km limit might kill your dreams of multimodal transport options. Firstly, maybe a limit of 15km will be enough to solve ‘the problem’ so let’s take a breath and wait and see.
    Secondly look at the issue through the lens of the pedestrians, especially older pedestrians. “Footpaths are for walking on!” they cry, but here are people on motorised scooters zipping in and out at 20kmph. And IMO it is an issue.
    How would cyclists feel if the council decided to allow motorcycles to use cycleways?
    I’m sure most would say “cycleways are for cyclists – they should use the road!”. I doubt cyclists would be happy with a rule that said motorcycles were allowed on cycleways but only with a top speed of [say] 20 or 30kmph so they can coexist with cyclists. Would you tell cyclists they should be able to hear the motorcyclist coming so it shouldn’t be a problem? Would you tell cyclists to relax because the motorcycle will shoot past them lickety split and a collision is statistically unlikely?
    Given how hard and long GA and their readers have advocated for wider footpaths and more cycleways it seems odd that we should all now look the other way when pedestrians say there is an issue here. I wonder if self interest is involved – are people worried that council might decide to make scooterists use the cycle lanes? If so that’s the dreaded NIMBYism at play again.

    1. The overarching question is ‘Is there a problem’?
      There are many anecdotal reports of pedestrians either getting knocked over, or nearly getting knocked over, and this is causing alarm. Let’s get some data and see if it’s really a problem – IMO it is. Let’s also get some data on Scooter vs Car accidents too. I have personally seen a scooter vs van collision, which required an ambulance and a hospital visit. IMO it was the scooterists fault. But that’s just one story (I was expecting to see it reported but it wasn’t, making me wonder how many other incidents don’t get reported).

      1. Any alteration or addition to the operation of KiwiRail has to go through a thorough risk-assessment and safety-case process BEFORE it can be implemented. Blindly forging ahead and then retrospectively scratching around for data “to see if there is a problem” is not the way things are done.
        Contrasts the legally-accountable process with the “she’ll be right” approach.

    2. I suspect the argument is made in bad faith, i.e. it is not about safety, but about trying in an indirect way to ban these scooters.

      By itself it makes sense to limit the speed of anything going on the footpath. But look at the larger context: there is an endless tolerance for much more dangerous situations involving cars (slip lanes without zebra crossings, roundabouts optimized for speed, tolerance for parking on the footpath and verges etc.). In that context it is odd to all of a sudden become concerned about a few scooters.

      1. True, that in the context of the endless tolerance for risk on the roads, it is perhaps anomalous to be concerned about the dangers that scooters may pose. BUT. . . should we allow the appalling laxity that is tolerated on the roads to become the lowest common denominator down to which other transport modes are dragged?

        If we turn a blind eye to the dangers of scooters because road-transport is already so dangerous, should we also ease back on the stringent safety standards applied in the rail and aviation sectors to bring them into line with what we tolerate on roads?

        1. Well I would prefer it the other way around — if we can get all worked up about scooters, maybe it is time to get all worked up about cars too.

          But no. We’re finally dropping the speed limit in the CBD to 30, and the same press outlets are crying foul about becoming a nanny state.

  23. So the answer is cycleways? Isn’t that the answer to every question in the transport universe? I ride a bike because I can travel at 25km/h ish, which is considerably faster than my amble. One assumes that Lime riders also enjoy this velocity advantage over the bipedal meandering system, so cutting them down to 10km/h will surely reduce their appeal. And if we are going to impose restrictive speed limits on non fossil fueled transport, then why are cars still allowed to move at 50km/h in most of the central city? Anyone for creating fossil fuel free zones?

  24. Some years ago when running along Wellington’s waterfront, I knocked for six a small child who suddenly stepped out from behind a group of adults that I was passing. Fortunately no serious injury occurred, though the wee boy was traumatised and the adults with him were aghast. I felt terrible and rendered what assistance and apologies I could, but the accident was 100% my fault for failing to anticipate what can happen and what quite-legitimately does happen in pedestrian-space.

    From that day on I vowed to be far more self-restrictive in my running and cycling activities in such shared environments. Other people’s safety and freedom-from-hazard now come first; me and my risk-imposing behaviour comes very-much second. Where possible I give pedestrians a wide berth, or slow right down when forced into proximity with them. But needless to say, when doing this I observe many others who don’t; Who do exactly as I previously did and who see nothing wrong in buzzing close to unsuspecting pedestrians with a significant speed-differential. This tends to be the default behavior for many cyclists and runners. Will it be any different for e-scooter riders with their greater ability to go fast effortlessly?

    Unless an uncharacteristically disciplined attitude towards hazard-minimisation can be drummed into the minds of all scooter-riders and would-be scooter riders – A big ask in our “she’ll be right” culture – then some form of scooter speed-limiting seems inevitable.

  25. I n response to the clash of pedestrian and powered scooters I read a plea for separate lanes for each (all) modes of transport. Forty five years ago I drove a general goods diesel truck into the CBD offloading all the way, picking up also and completing my return load at various depots in downtown Auckland. Often I was required to venture into Queen Street which by today’s traffic would seem deserted but it still sometimes forced me to double-park. I was even then concious of fumes my truck belched out and would cut the engine if near a tearooms, the ATB diesel buses were as bad.
    I left the city for a few years, returning to work in Queen Street ten years later, the situation had not improved. I took the bus from Milford to “town” and back each day as my employer offered minimum parking, the bus was not unpleasant, the fumes in Queen Street were.
    Many shops were undergoing refurbishing, and upgrading their frontages which prompted me to think, why don’t they move the “shopfront” to the first floor?
    My thinking developed further to “OK this would need to be a Council initiative.”
    At which point I knew it would never happen BUT I will expand on it here because with talk of a second underground railroad and clashes between pedestrians, scooters, cyclists and cars there is hope.
    Imagine all the shops with their present ground floor moving up one level.
    Queen Street would be free of pedestrians leaving it to be laned for any variety of vehicle capable of exceeding 10kph. Couriers, service personnel , buses or trams etc.
    Shoppers and staff would access the first floor directly from the stop or carpark by escalator or lift.
    A number of enclosed (fume-proof) walkways would connect the two sides of Queen Street at the first floor level.
    No time like the present.
    R McConnell

  26. One of the reasons scoters are dangerous s that they can not keep up with traffic and get forced into the gutter. Riding escooters at 30 kph means you can operate like a bike, generally keep up with Auckland traffic and claim your space on the road or bike lane. Riding 10kph on the road puts you at significant risk from other road users. But 10 kph on the foot path is twice the average pedestrian speed an equally dangerous. Treat the scooters like bikes, make helmets compulsory and let them travel at bike speeds.

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