Lawyer calls for Lime in­sur­ance

Sunshine Coast Daily - - NEWS -

SUN­SHINE Coast com­pen­sa­tion lawyer Travis Schultz has warned that pedes­tri­ans may be the big­gest losers from the up­take of Lime elec­tric scoot­ers, and has called for the com­pany to pro­vide pub­lic li­a­bil­ity in­sur­ance that cov­ers both the rider and foot­path users.

“Lime is val­ued at more than a bil­lion dol­lars yet by not in­sur­ing their e-scoot­ers they are ef­fec­tively pass­ing the un­in­tended con­se­quences of their busi­ness model onto the pub­lic purse,” he said.

Un­der Queens­land law, “walk­ing speed” ve­hi­cles with an out­put of up to 200W and max­i­mum speed of 10km/h do not need to be reg­is­tered.

De­spite be­ing pow­ered by a 250W elec­tric mo­tor and ca­pa­ble of 27km/h, a pro­vi­sion to class the es­coot­ers as a “per­sonal mo­bil­ity de­vice” has al­lowed Lime to dodge reg­is­tra­tion and com­pul­sory third party in­sur­ance cover. “We wouldn’t al­low an unin­sured mo­tor­cy­cle or mo­tor scooter to travel on the foot­path, yet the in­tro­duc­tion of this new rideshar­ing tech­nol­ogy has forged ahead, with lit­tle thought to the con­se­quences if some­one is in­jured,” Mr Schultz said.

While the rel­e­vant leg­is­la­tion was amended in De­cem­ber 2018 to im­prove pedes­trian safety, Mr Schultz said the new laws were “vague, sub­jec­tive and open to in­ter­pre­ta­tion”.

“They do not spell out what con­sti­tutes reck­less be­hav­iour, or quan­tify the pre­cise speed or suf­fi­cient dis­tance needed ‘to al­low for safe stop­ping’,” he said.

Mr Schultz said Lime should pro­vide cus­tomers with pub­lic li­a­bil­ity in­sur­ance to pro­tect the rider and the vic­tim of an ac­ci­dent.

“At least that way, the gen­eral pub­lic and our health sys­tem wouldn’t be bur­dened with the cost of in­juries in­curred by Lime’s profit-mak­ing en­ter­prise.”

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