The micro-mobility industry is expanding at an accelerated rate, so scooters have become a temptation for thieves as well. Renting companies are dealing with such issues and are employing safety measures, while individual high-end models, such as the scooters from Razor, should be protected at least with locks or chains.
Scooters are gaining more and more popularity among people living in large cities since they are a convenient way to get around, while also avoiding being stuck in traffic. Unfortunately, though, not every person has honest intentions when it comes to these units, and the fact that more advanced ones cost quite a lot of money made thieves interested in the matter as well.
Vandalism, theft, and rough handling are issues with which scooter rental companies are dealing with as well. These are challenges that any business playing in the micro mobility industry acknowledges as very important since running out of scooters in a fleet can mean closing down the entire operation if losses cannot be sustained.
The same applies to bicycles and other similar means of transportation. If you have your own scooter, instead of just renting one, then you are probably even more interested in keeping it safe and ready to use whenever you need to. The good part is that there are things that you can do to prevent theft, so let’s see what some of these are.
Some preventive measures
No matter if we’re talking about an e-scooter or about a larger vehicle such as a bike, the first thing you want to do is keep it out of sight. This is especially important if you’ve chosen a high-end model. Don’t think that thieves cannot tell the difference between a basic scooter and a complex one. They certainly can, so you should do anything you can to avoid tempting them.
Thanks to the handy construction of scooters and to the fact that many models are foldable, you are probably going to keep it inside your home. However, if you live in a house with a small yard, don’t leave the device lying outside, since this makes it an easy target.
Another useful tip is to use more than one lock at the same time. If you want to leave the scooter for a longer period in a certain place, this can definitely keep it safer. You can lock it to something stable such as a pole, and maybe use another lock to attach it to a fence.
The general rule says that the more locks someone needs to get through to steal something, the less interested they will be to get it done. Depending on how expensive your scooter is, thieves might actually make some serious efforts to take it, such as cutting through stuff. Therefore, you should lock the scooter down to heavy and large objects that cannot be moved.
Locks and chains
Since these are the main types of objects you can use to secure your scooter, you should not go for cheap alternatives. After all, these have to withstand all kinds of rough handling in order to prevent anyone from taking the vehicle. While it’s true that spending a lot of money on locks and chains is not particularly appealing, it’s certainly the right way to go about this.
In case you feel that your scooter might be extremely tempting or you cannot keep it inside the house for some reason, then you could think about adding some sort of an alarm as well. Those who are interested in stealing such devices are not happy when anything starts making sounds, so this can have a chilling effect.
In fact, businesses that rent e-scooters have thought about the same thing and, if a certain device is tampered with without using the dedicated app, a voice signals that the police is going to be alerted. In addition, you may also want to try to lock it in well-lit areas, whenever this is possible since this also means less space and conditions to work the lock.
Last but not least, if you have a home with a backyard, you should make sure that the fence gates are locked, and for extra safety, you might make these lock only from the inside. This way, you can make sure that no one is able to simply walk into the yard with no problem.
What about companies that rent scooters?
Micro-mobility is a booming industry, given that our cities are crowded and people no longer wish to be stuck in traffic. Since urban settings are changing according to our needs, so is the idea of transportation. Plus, scooters are a handy and green solution that not only get through traffic in a more effective way, but they also allow us to breathe fresher air.
With this being said, companies have quickly sensed the opportunity that comes along once the public’s attention is focused on a certain thing, so some of them have started renting e-scooters around big cities. The downside is that they are dealing with some issues, including theft and vandalism.
Connecting smartphones with e-scooters, these companies offer simple and effective solutions to some aspects of urban transportation, but there are others that arise, at the same time. Some of them are dealing with the theft issue by requiring riders to secure the scooters using a cable lock, once the ride is over.
Others require a photo as proof that the vehicle has been parked properly, without hindering pedestrians or jeopardizing other traffic participants. Some scooter fleets have locks that are controlled through an app, which means that there is no combination to fuss with, while others announce that the police will be alerted if the app is not used to unlock the unit.
However, all of these measures don’t completely eliminate the issues related to vandalism and theft, but they merely reduce them to a sustainable level. On the other hand, built-in anti-theft systems can create some other problems as well, as it was the case in some cities in Switzerland.
The scooters rebooted during the ride which triggered the safety and immobilization systems, thus leading to some injuries and accidents. For the company, this meant pulling out the entire fleet and further investigating how these issues can be dealt with in an effective way.
Scooters on sidewalks
While some are trying to prevent scooters from being stolen, others such as companies renting them have another situation that they need to keep under control. Once a scooter is used and depleted of power, some people simply leave it on sidewalks or on the roads. This creates additional problems since pedestrians can no longer use the sidewalks comfortably.
Moreover, cars and bikes can also run into additional risks, especially if such a scooter is not visible from a safe distance. In turn, those who are not fans of these devices may also start to despise their presence on the roads, without being used, so they might try to take matters into their own hands.
Certain reports have shown that scooters can be thrown in lakes around cities, and this is certainly not a good thing or a solution. While all of these details can seem rather scary, the truth is that scooters seem to be here to stay, so it’s important for us to find the right solutions in order to enjoy the benefits they bring.
As for companies, some of them reported that less than 1% of the fleet was vandalized across the United States, which means that for the moment this still remains a viable business model, especially since fleet owners can hand-pick the neighborhoods that are going to be served.
However, using scooters and doing so in a safe and friendly way is a matter of joint effort that includes riders, the local administration, as well as the business sector, in order to obtain mutually beneficial results.