The late September death of an 82-year-old pedestrian struck by a Revel electric moped rider in Manhattan once again highlights the dangers faced by average citizens. It also places an unwanted spotlight on the start-up Revel’s shared scooter service. So far, four people have been killed this year in Revel moped-related accidents.
It makes one wonder whether the team behind the Revel rollout in New York City understood the potential dangers related to the moped and promoted extra safety among the people who ride the vehicle, which travels up to 30 mph. The company temporarily closed its operations in the summer after the third fatality in an effort to strengthen rider safety measures. But did that move work?
Pedestrians continue to face dangers
The female victim was struck as she crossed West 60th Street at the Broadway intersection just before 7:30 a.m. on Sept. 29. She was walking in the crosswalk. The Revel electric moped traveled south on Broadway and was operated by a 23-year-old male when it struck the woman. The rider remained at the scene and reportedly likely would not face any charges.
Revel’s electric mopeds are reminiscent of the stylish Vespa brand scooter. The company introduced its shared moped service throughout New York City’s boroughs two years ago. The vehicles have grown in popularity as riders do not need a motorcycle license to drive them but do need a driver’s license.
Because the mopeds are electric, they are quiet. As a result, many pedestrians cannot hear one coming down the street. With the four fatalities this year, many questions come to mind. How well is the company promoting safety? Did Revel leaders foresee all the potential dangers?
The streets of New York should be safer for pedestrians. But when those dangers lead to accidents due to the negligence of others, it can lead to tragedy.