25 Jun 2019

Councillor calls for e-scooter ban following rider’s death

From Checkpoint, 5:18 pm on 25 June 2019

An Auckland councillor is calling for all public electric scooters to be pulled from the city's streets until it's clear what caused the death of a rider in the city centre.

A 59-year-old man died while riding a Lime e-scooter last night.

The scooter in question, as well as the computer which records its trips, has now been passed onto police, who are investigating.

In a statement, a Lime representative said they were devastated by the tragic incident and that they had been in contact with local authorities to assist.

However, Auckland councillor Christine Fletcher said there was no time for officials to wait and find out what caused the accident.

She said she had written to the chief executive and chairman of Auckland Transport, requesting that they urgently remove e-scooters operated by Lime, Wave and Flamingo from the city's streets until the coroner's report into last night's death is available.

Lime scooters were temporarily suspended in Auckland and Dunedin in February after a braking glitch emerged with 30 people injured as a result.

Ms Fletcher said there were a number of issues with the way the scooters had been rolled out and it was time for an urgent rethink.

"We can't afford to have these sorts of accidents happen, and I would really implore NZTA, Auckland Transport and all the parties involved to do a review of their regulations and use.

"Nobody wants them banned completely, we just want to be assured that the standards being put in place are going to assure safety for Aucklanders."

Transport Minister Phil Twyford said the government was currently working on regulations for electric scooters, including speed limits and where they can be used, as part of its accessible street work.

But he maintained the scooters had been rolled out well in New Zealand.

Police are appealing for any witnesses to last night's death to contact them.