Revel, the moped ridesharing service that has exploded in popularity in New York City during the COVID-19, has been forced to shut down following a second fatal moped accident. The decision comes on the heels of two high-profile deaths involving users of the service.
Police say a Brooklyn man in his 30s was killed after crashing his moped into a light pole in Queens in the early morning hours of July 28. The deceased victim struggled to navigate the road and struck the light pole, which was positioned in the center of a road median.
Echoes of an Earlier Tragedy
The death comes just two weeks after another moped death in the city, one that took the life of a local news reporter and drew new scrutiny to the use of these fast and nimble new vehicles.
Nina Kapur, 26, was killed after falling from a Revel moped being driven by a friend in Brooklyn. The high-profile incident drew new attention to the risks posed by the mopeds, which can travel up to 30 miles per hour and offer little in the way of protection in the event of a collision.
Following Kapur’s death, Revel emailed customers reminding them of safe riding rules and suspended the accounts of more than 1,000 users for unsafe practices. Anyone with a driver’s license could rent a moped for a $5 sign up fee and 35-cents per minute in charges. With no age or other restrictions in place, some observers believed the conditions surrounding moped rentals had become too risky.
Company Announces Closure, and Mayor Supports the Move
Revel broke the news of the closure in a Tweet, writing:
“New York riders – starting today, NYC service will be shut down until further notice. We’re reviewing and strengthening our rider accountability and safety measures and communicating with city officials, and we look forward to serving you again in the near future.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio supported the decision, saying:
“Transportation alternatives are important but safety on our streets is paramount. We spoke with Revel this morning and they are shutting down until we can find a way to make shared mopeds safe.”
While the decision may not be popular with the thousands of city residents who began using the service in greater numbers post-pandemic, it is clear that safety issues must be resolved before moped ridesharing is reinstituted.
Finding the Right Attorney
As we’ve recently seen, mopeds can pose serious risks if not operated safely. Additionally, the barrier to entry for renting these devices is minimal. Without active enforcement of safety rules — and vigilant action by ridesharing companies — it is likely more injuries and deaths will likely continue.
At the Frankel Law Firm, we’ve been fighting for the rights of injured persons for more than 40 years. If you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today at (212) 888-5100 or at https://frankellawfirm.com. All plaintiff accident and injury cases which are accepted for representation are on a contingency basis which means that there will be no attorneys fee unless successful. Given the coronavirus pandemic, we can arrange for a free consultation by Facetime, Zoom, Skype or WhatsApp. Please feel free to give us a call.
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