On Wednesday, Bird announced the launch of its new Community Safety Zones, geofenced areas of high-pedestrian activity clearly marked in the app’s map.
If you’re travelling through these zones on a Bird scooter, your maximum speed will be automatically reduced to 8 miles per hour (13 kilometres per hour). You’ll also get a message in the app explaining why your scooter has slowed down.
It’s a much-needed move following the long-studied dangers of riding e-scooters for riders and pedestrians — e-scooter related injuries are no joke, and that significantly goes for pedestrians. Bird’s e-scooters’ top speeds range from 16 miles (25 kilometres) per hour for the Bird Air to 18 miles (28 kilometres) per hour for the Bird One.
Bird plans to roll out its Community Safety Zones in Miami, Marseille, and Madrid first, then expanding to the other 250 cities where Bird is available. Pedestrian-heavy areas including schools and hospitals will be the focus, with possible plans to expand to parks and shopping centres.