Bird has launched Safe Start, a new in-app safety feature designed to discourage people from riding under the influence.
Between the hours of 10pm and 4am local time (hours are subject to change per market), riders attempting to unlock a Bird will now be asked to verify that they can safely handle the vehicle by correctly entering a keyword into the app.
Those who may be under the influence are encouraged to choose an alternative method of transportation such as a taxi or ride-hailing service.
“Sometimes all you need is that one reminder, that critical moment of deterrence, to change someone’s mind and prevent a potentially unsafe situation from taking place,” said Det. Lt. Mark Marquis of the Tiffin Police Department in Tiffin, Ohio.
“Safe Start from Bird helps afford that moment by asking scooter riders to slow down, step back and think, ‘Do I really want to be taking a risk right now by operating a vehicle under the influence?’ Ultimately this is a step in the right direction towards keeping our streets safe and secure for everyone.”
Safe Start is already being tested in the US and will be made available globally throughout the summer. The Bird team will work together with city officials to monitor the effectiveness and impact of the in-app checkpoint, as well as to identify ways in which it can most effectively be enhanced moving forward.
“Late night, scooters and other micro-electric vehicles provide a valuable mobility resource for third-shift workers, bar and restaurant staff and many others,” said Rebecca Hahn, chief corporate social responsibility officer at Bird.
“Safe Start is designed to help keep them and all members of the community safe on the streets by encouraging responsible riding and keeping scooters available for those who truly need them.”