Associate Department Head and Professor Chris Cherry has published an op-ed for CoMotion News entitled “To Make Electric Scooters Safer, Focus on the Street.” In it, he says that as disruptive forms of transportation such as electric scooters gain in popularity, policymakers need to focus on making improvements to road infrastructure to create safer driving environments.
Often, it’s the emergent form of transportation that gets blamed when there is an injury or death involving an e-scooter, but data from local and national transportation safety and policy experts shows that safer street design is the best way for cities to make e-scooters and all forms of light transportation safer.
“As riders, researchers and cities align on the primacy of safe infrastructure, there is also a consensus that e-scooter operators also play a key role in preventing injuries,” Cherry said. “Rider education, vehicle engineering, and fleet operations are all factors that influence crash rates, and all of these are factors that companies control.”
For the past year, Cherry has helped Bird, a leading e-scooter operator, address safety through policy. They partnered with the RAND Corporation to host the Safe Streets Micromobility Roundtable discussion with leading transportation safety experts. This discussion identified the most important steps that micromobility operators can take to enhance safety and improve cities, which include the following:
- Create better infrastructure
- Educate and encourage riders
- Design safer vehicles
- Enforce rights of way for pedestrians and the disabled