All micromobility companies are rightly talking up safety at the moment, and Dott is right there with them. However, alongside elements familiar to scooter aficionados, Dott has some interesting and unique safety ideas.
European micromobility company Dott operates in 15 cities across Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and Poland. Its safety promise straddles the various elements of its business, from users to staff to vehicles.
Covid-safe measures for users include things you’d expect, like regular disinfection of vehicles, and hygiene advice, while in-house operations keep the fleet roadworthy with regular “MOTs” every 500 rides – a term we haven’t seen used before with e-scooters – added to more frequent “mini-MOTs” and self-diagnostic features to detect faults in real time. One interesting addition on that front, however, is the introduction of a track and trace icon so users can “check in” to the NHS app before using the scooters.
In terms of rider behaviour, strict traffic rules are enforced using both carrot and stick. Along with the usual things (such as adjustable speed limits in pedestrian areas and geofenced parking) are some interesting developments. Dott is one of a couple of micromobility operators so far to team up with AA DriveTech, offering scooter safety training, with rewards. Riders will earn safety points for completing steps in a training programme as part of a new “Smooth Rider Club”, with Dott safety points that convert to discounted rides for things like helmet wearing, which users can log and share with their smartphones.
Dott’s UK general manager Duncan Robertson said: “We are really excited to be working with DriveTech to enhance our rider education training. With the launch of e-scooters it has marked the addition of a new form of transport within the British transport infrastructure. At Dott, we believe it is important for operators to take a leading role in educating riders on how to both ride and park safely, to protect themselves and those around them. Our online and practical courses aim to do just that focusing on general road safety, sharing the road and how to ride.”
Dott claims the vehicles are the “safest e-scooter on the market”, fitted with turn signals, license plates and a triple brake system, with front and rear wheel drum brakes.
Edmund King OBE, AA president, said: “Both the AA and our road training business, DriveTech, made representations to Government that any launch of rental e-scooters in the UK needed to be done safely. I am so pleased to see Dott e-scooters taking such a committed approach to rider and road user safety. The training collaboration with DriveTech is great to see. Additionally, we applaud some of the safety features such as the wide scooter deck for improved balance and the triple braking system. Dott are clearly working to make an impact in overall safety and rider education.”
To help new scooter riders find their feet, “Beginner Mode” offers slower speeds, part of a bid to reduce the 33% of scooter collisions that happen within a user’s first three rides. The company has created a safety advisory board, with UK charities and research hubs, something unique to e-scooter operators thus far – as well as sharing collision data with local authorities and research bodies.
Attempts to tackle festive hazards in Europe so far include ID verification, free reflective armbands in France, additional road training, including nocturnal sessions and premium highway code access for Dott users – as well as complimentary rider insurance, something that is mandatory in some countries. Dott has also worked with drinks manufacturer AB InBev to discourage drink riding.
The UK can potentially learn much from Europe, where e-scooters are far more established. While it will be interesting to see what will translate over here, we already are off to a good start. Safety initiatives on British soil include Lime’s parking patrols in Milton Keynes, Tier’s onboard turn signals in York, Wind’s on-scooter hand sanitiser in Nottingham, Neuron’s automatic “SOS” alerts in Slough and Bird’s extensive community engagement in Redditch, among many others.
Dott doesn’t yet operate in the UK but, when it does, we can be sure that the company’s expertise, European experience and innovative initiatives will be invaluable in contributing to continued high safety standards here.
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This article is featured as part of our partnership with Dott.