Lime scooters are Satan’s own vehicle. If you ride one, you will lose control, scrape your knees, maybe even break a leg. God forbid someone die on a Lime scooter. At least that’s what the worry-warts want you to believe.
Since the arrival of Lime scooters in New Zealand late last year, an e-scooter brouhaha has overtaken Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin and now Wellington’s Hutt Valley.
Sprawled all over the NZ Herald and Stuff are articles about public outrage, demands for regulation, and a call to ban e-scooters. This clamour for change was triggered by news of the ACC receiving more than 600 claims in the first few months of Lime’s arrival.
At more than 1 million Lime scooter trips completed, 600 claims translate to a perilous 0.06% accident rate. Notably, only 20 accidents were the result of a crash; more than 500 were the result of people losing balance or personal control.
Although some of the crashes were due to Lime scooter malfunctions, banning e-scooters would be a heavy-handed response. We didn’t ban cars in the 1950s when they were death traps; instead, we recalled and improved them.
If we’re going to start banning Lime scooters based on ACC claims, then we better start banning every activity under the sun too.
Want to play rugby? Can’t do that because of the 57,000 or so claims per year related to rugby union.
What about other modes of transport like cycling? Not a chance. Cycling is an ACC claim on two wheels. Kiwis make close to 20,000 claims per year – 6.6% of them related to vehicle collisions.
Want to celebrate your birthday with a few drinks and some dancing? That’s banned too. With an average claim rate of 7,000 per year, dancing is even more dangerous than riding a Lime scooter.
Now that we’ve banned everything, are we all to succumb to the quiet life of a grandma or a grandpa? Yes, but only if you don’t play lawn bowls, which has an average claim rate of 1,100 per year and costs the ACC $1 million in claims every year.
At the end of the day Lime scooters may be a little unsafe, but so is everything else.