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Beam drink-riding test barred 158 people from taking an e-scooter trip in Geraldton over the last month

Jamie ThannooGeraldton Guardian
Beam's e-scooters have been a regular sight around Geraldton for the last four months.
Camera IconBeam's e-scooters have been a regular sight around Geraldton for the last four months. Credit: Jamie Thannoo/RegionalHUB

More than 150 people in Geraldton were barred from taking a ride on a Beam e-scooter on a night out in the last month after being deemed not sober enough by Beam’s drink-riding deterrence feature.

According to Beam, 158 riders were barred from taking a trip during the holiday period due to the Beam app’s Rider Check feature, a test which appears on the user’s app when they activate a scooter on Friday and Saturday nights in certain peak areas.

The test requires users to tap on either the left or right side of two images on the screen to determine if they are sober enough to ride, and prevents them from accessing their Beam app temporarily if they fail the test three times.

Beam’s WA operations manager Stuart O’Callaghan said the company took the risk of drink-riding seriously.

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“Riders who ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs are putting both themselves and the wider community at risk, and we hope ‘Rider Check’ can help us deter those under the influence from riding our vehicles,” he said.

According to Beam, these numbers are roughly consistent with previous months.

“The majority of e-scooter riders in Geraldton are following the rules, and we love seeing e-scooters form a part of the city’s regular transportation options,” Mr O’Callaghan said.

“However we have a zero tolerance policy for illegal behaviour on our e-scooters, and are committed to enforcing safe riding, in collaboration with the police.”

Beam said the test is based on clinical studies of cognitive impairment and smartphone use by assistant professor Sang Won Bae of the Stevens Institute of Technology.

In the first four month’s of Beam’s Geraldton trial, riders have travelled more than 220,000km with an average distance of 2.7 km per trip, according to the company.

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