The dilapidated state of rental bikes in Bengaluru due to vandalism makes them unsafe for use.
By- Antara Gupta| March 30th 2021
Bengaluru: According to statistics by Jayanagar Police station, road accidents due to vandalized rental bikes have gone up by 22 percent since 2020. A report by Bengaluru Traffic police department, shows that even though the total number of accidents have gone down by 3,236 in 2020 to 615 in 2021, the dilapidated state of rental bikes continue pose a threat for commuters on road.
These rental bikes often don’t meet the criteria of bike fitness certificate that is mandatory for two wheelers in Bengaluru as per the guidelines issued by Bengaluru Traffic department. Customers often report accidents due to faulty brakes and wobbly wheels. For instance, companies such as Bounce Bikes have reported over 2000 such cases per month. “There have been times when either the brakes aren’t working or the tires are in a bad condition. Many times there aren’t even helmets. I have been fined because of that,” says Prashanth Raman, a regular customer for rental bike companies.
The traffic police department of the city says that they are working closely with these companies to ensure that these bikes are completely safe for users. The company will now share the data of the offenders with other mobility companies and the police. The traffic police department uses a hotline that enables them to inform the company instantly about vandalism, theft, rash riding etc. The department says that this helps them immensely to track down the offenders and penalize them accordingly. Shekhar H., traffic police officer from Jayanagar Police station says, “We are making sure that the offenders are penalized heavily. Vandalizing of these bikes is after all a criminal offence.”
These mobility companie have resorted to technology and measures such as advanced tracking, Bluetooth and blacklisting offenders to curb these cases. Ankit Acharya, communication head for Bounce Bikes says, “Due to the rising cases of vandalism and accidents we have come up with strict measures and penalties for offenders. We have also banned several users because they failed to follow the regulation such as putting the helmet back or not parking it in the correct spot. ”
The rental companies are now looking at technical solutions and user education. They believe that stringent measures such as blacklisting users will help bring down the cases and ease the pressure on them.