Tech Talk: e-Scooters, Safety, and Laudato Si

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Tech Talk with Lisa Hendey/Son Rise Morning Show (CatholicMom.com)

On a recent episode of the Son Rise Morning Show, we discussed scooters, which on the surface might not seem like a tech story. But on a week when lots of folks are in vacation mode, scooters are trending nationwide. What’s up?

  • In major cities across the US, Bird and Lime electric scooters are proliferating. These electric scooters are app driven, dockless and starting to crowd the sidewalks of major cities.
  • Some cities, including San Francisco, have banned scooter companies for operating without permits.
  • See this article for a look at how Google is getting involved in the scooter “funding wars” and how these are being compared to transportation “disrupter” companies Uber and Lyft.

What do parents need to know about e-scooters?

  • Primarily, it’s important to know that the scooters are only supposed to be driven by 18+ with a valid drivers license.
  • The scooters run off smartphones apps with a $1 per scoot and .15 per minute in-app charge for rides.

Are there any safety concerns with using these scooters?

  • Yes, see this recent article from the Los Angeles times citing major safety concerns for riders.
  • Riders agree to wear helmets while operating scooters, but many do not. The scooters’ top speeds of 15 mph may seem slower than vehicles or even some bicycles, but limited visibility, riders not following safety rules and underage riders are causing accidents to rise.

On the plus side, how can technological modes of transportation like these scooters help us live the precepts of Laudato Si when used responsibly?

  • In his encyclical letter Laudato Si, Pope Francis acknowledges the scientific realities of climate change and writes, “All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents.” (p. 14)
  • One of the stated goals of the companies is to reduce traffic, congestion and greenhouse gas emissions by reducing car trips of less than two miles.
  • Bird has issued an “SOS” (Save Our Sidewalks) pledge to promote safe riding and responsible growth to avoid environmental issues.

Listen to our full conversation and find out whether Lisa has tried these scooters!

Read more of our Tech Talk columns.


Copyright 2018 Lisa Hendey

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About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children's fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa's articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at www.LisaHendey.com for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.

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