E-scooter firm bids to improve rider safety with campaign in Portsmouth

THE firm behind the e-scooter trial in the city has launched a campaign to encourage riders across the city to ‘ride safe, park smart and always wear a helmet’.

Monday, 26th July 2021, 3:23 pm

Voi hopes to improve the safety of its users with its campaign featuring bright coral adverts at kiosks, and on large and small billboards.

The adverts also feature a code for new riders to get £3 off their first ride by entering ‘RIDESAFE3’ into the Voi app.

The Ride Safe, Park Smart campaign is part of Voi’s commitment to boosting rider safety.

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Voi e-scooters safety training day in Guildhall Square. Picture: Stuart Martin (220421-7042)

The firm has faced questions over the safety of e-scooters at times - after two crashes involving their machines on the opening day of the trial in Portsmouth in March.

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Jessica Hockey, senior manager of partnerships and marketing at Voi, said: ‘Safety is at the heart of all our marketing activity and the goal of this large scale, multi-channel campaign is to ensure our riders have these key safety messages at the top of their mind at all times.’

Since launching across selected cities in the UK in September, the firm has introduced various measures to improve safety.

Voi's safety campaign advert. Pic Voi

These have included the ‘reaction test’ to discourage users from riding under the influence of alcohol.

The ‘beginners mode’, lets users reduce the e-scooter speed to 10mph until they get used to the scooter.

Voi has also launched the ‘Helmet Selfie’, which uses an image-classifier AI that can immediately detects if a user is wearing a helmet with 95 per cent accuracy.

Helmet-wearers are rewarded with five loyalty points at the end of their ride, which can go towards discounted rides.

Another safety innovation is the ‘End of the Ride’ photo, which requires users to take and submit a photo of their parked e-scooter. Riders who fail to park correctly receive a warning in the first instance, and following that a £25 fine is imposed.

Voi has seen a 70 per cent improvement in ‘good parking behaviour’ since the introduction of the new feature.

Voi also works with disability associations, including the Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) to ensure the needs of vulnerable groups are heeded during the UK trials.

Jack Samler, general manager at Voi, said: ‘People in the UK have embraced Voi’s e-scooters with more than 3.5 million rides taken so far. Whether it’s riding to work, running errands or visiting friends and family, we’re committed to ensuring all riders know the rules of the road and are safe when they’re on the move.

‘We hope everyone will see and absorb our new ad campaign over the next few weeks and remember to ride safe, park smart and wear a helmet every time they take a Voi e-scooter.’

In addition to the campaign, which is set to run until the middle of August, Voi will continue to roll out its online and in-person safety events, giving away free helmets to participants, as part of its ongoing commitment to educating its riders.

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