Rental scooter firm back in action after deaths with new rules

The Revel e-scooter rental firm goes back online in New York City after it was halted with new guidelines designed to make them safer for passengers

Revel e-scooter

Under fire urban mobility firm Revel Transit is back in action just over two weeks after its activities in New York City were halted following at least two deaths linked to the use of its scooters.

On 28 July 2020, Visordown reported the ride-share company had put a halt to its services over a string of violations from those abusing the service, including many riding without a helmet, mounting the pavement, riding the wrong way down roads and through parks and gardens.

However, things took a morbid turn when one Brooklyn resident was reported to be have been killed after striking a streetlight pole, while another – CBS newswoman Nina Kapur – was killed after an accident in which she was passenger on one of the machines. Since then, a third is also reported to have died as a result of an incident involving one of the scooters.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire (2020) Review |

Though Revel states riders must wear a helmet when using its e-scooters, there was previously no way of knowing whether riders were doing so when renting it through the app.

Now Revel has returned online with new guidelines in an effort to prevent such a flagrant misuse, including submitting a selfie showing you – and any passenger you wish to travel with - wearing a helmet with the scooter you wish to rent before it can be unlocked.

Riders must also fill in and successfully complete a 20-minute safety quiz in order to be allowed to ride, the effort of which will hopefully deter the joyriders from the responsible adults. However, as with anything that requires you to self-regulate, one can assume that there will be those that find their way around such measures.

The noble intentions of e-scooter ride sharing – ease on traffic, better for environment and convenient – has made it very much in vogue around various nations, with the UK government even promoting use of e-scooters, even though they are still very obviously being used with no enforcing of the fact they are illegal unless used on private land.

However, as the Revel example shows, making it easier to use such machines – which have had deadly consequences so far for a small but not insignificant number – with only relatively minimal regulation raises questions.

After all, riding a motorcycle or driving a car isn’t necessarily difficult itself, it’s understanding and reacting to what’s happening around you among other road users that’s critical when out on the road…