After moving in the to city from the suburbs I’ve seriously embraced city living, to the point where I’ve even been using the Lime Scooters. Brisbane is conducting a trial of electric scooters and there are 500 of them randomly scattered in and around the CBD. A 43 year old man on an electric scooter. It’s a good look. Honest.
The scooters are a fabulous idea but I worry that the scooter wankers out there are going to ruin it for the rest of us. As is usually the case.
The problem appears to be two-fold. The first issue is that Queensland law means that you must wear a helmet, but people keep nicking the helmets. Finding a scooter with an attached helmet is completely pot-luck. The other problem is that scooter wankers are getting pissed up and riding them on their way back from a night out, scaring the shit out of pedestrians with their antics.
Queensland Police have announced that they are setting up a task force to catch the scooter wankers, which is fair enough.
Where to begin with this?
I made the mistake of looking at the comments on social media in response to the articles. The consensus seems to be mass hysteria about the inevitable deaths that will occur.
This is the problem. We can’t have nice things. A few wankers piss people off, causing people to make a mountain out of a molehill. They moan like hell on social media, so of course, local news picks up on it and hype it up even further.
Both problems are genuine concerns, but it doesn’t mean that they should be banned. Why is the immediate answer to ban everything?
With regards to helmets, one of two things need to happen. Either the Queensland Parliament need to relax the laws on helmets – perhaps accepting that an adult riding a scooter 6 inches off the ground is not the same as a child on a bicycle, or, the scooter operators need to come up with a technical solution to stop the helmets going walkabout. This will inevitably cost money and might make the whole enterprise non-viable. I have no idea, but let’s at least explore the options.
As for the scooter wankers, let’s see what happens. The whole experience is relatively new for the streets of Brisbane, so there will be many unfamiliar with the legislation, and many others who just see it as a novelty that might not last. Hopefully the safety campaign has an effect.