The Department of Transportation held a press conference about the company’s new strict safety protocols on Thursday afternoon.
WATCH: Revel Press Conference
Prior to the shutdown, about 2,000 riders had accounts suspended due to lawless behavior. During the first seven months of 2020, there were 330 crashes with injuries on Revel mopeds, according to the DOT, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported.
“I’ve seen a couple people, like, turning in lanes where they’re not supposed to be going in. Some was riding in the wrong lane, stuff like that,” Kevin Nash of Brooklyn said, adding when asked if the new safety protocols will help, “Yes, that should put some kind of safety in place.”
The agency noted the company’s growth over the last year went from 1,000 electric mopeds in Brooklyn and Queens to 3,000 in expanding to parts of Manhattan and the Bronx.
On July 28, Revel voluntarily ceased operations after three rider fatalities in 10 days, including the loss of our CBS2 colleague, reporter Nina Kapur.
New protocols being monitored by the city and DOT include:
- All members completing a 30-question safety training.
- An increase in access to in-person riding lessons, from 112 class slots per week to 1,164.
- Riders must prove they’re wearing a helmet by taking and submitting a selfie prior to each ride.
- Data from mopeds will be used to identify riders who ride in parks or the wrong way down one-way streets, and the company will increase penalties for bad behavior.
There’s also a new community reporting tool, which allows members of the public to report dangerous riding.
However, not everyone is sold on the new safety protocols.
“I don’t think it’s enough. I don’t think so,” said Wandy Castro, who works in Hell’s Kitchen.
“Somebody could take a picture with the helmet on and then just take the helmet off, I suppose. I think it’s important they do more,” added Jodi Van Breda of Manhattan.
“The only way to know for sure is test it out, see if it works,” Jonathan Friedman of Brooklyn said.
DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said she’s not overly concerned about people skipping some of the safety requirements.
“If you kind of nudge someone to take the first step of doing something, they’re likely to do it. So the theory on the selfie picture is once you put the helmet on and taken the picture you’re most probably not gonna take it off,” Trottenberg said.
The city also has the right to pull Revel if it finds an issue with safety, although no threshold was given for how it measures that.
“The city is now going to pursue a formal rule making so that we will have more formalized set of regulatory requirements for Revel and any other shared moped company that wants to come into the city,” Trottenberg said.
For a 60-day trial period Revel will suspend operations from midnight to 5 a.m. The DOT found that during that time period there was a higher rate of crashes.
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