Bird has introduced a new checkpoint in its e-scooter hire app which is designed to discourage people from riding while under the influence of alcohol.
Between the hours of 10pm and 4am, riders attempting to unlock a Bird scooter will be asked to verify that they can safely handle the vehicle by correctly entering a keyword.
If the app determines the person may have been drinking, they will be encouraged to take a taxi or travel in some other way.
Only rental e-scooters are road legal in the UK and riders must hold at least a provisional driving licence.
Riding one carries all the implications of travelling in a car. Several Britons have so far been prosecuted for driving under the influence and some have been handed driving bans.
Several e-scooter operators have introduced measures to combat drunk riding, ranging from presenting information within the app to limiting scooters’ speeds at certain times, or even switching them off.
Bird’s Safe Start is being tested in the US at the minute, but will be rolled out worldwide over the summer.
“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 Detective Lieutenant 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.”
Bird’s chief corporate social responsibility officer, Rebecca Hahn, added: “Late night, scooters and other micro-electric vehicles provide a valuable mobility resource for third-shift workers, bar and restaurant staff and many others.
“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.”