Lawyer calls for Lime insurance
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.”