David Strickland, Former Head of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, to Serve as Director of Bird’s Global Safety Advisory Board
VENICE, California, Aug. 2, 2018 – Bird, the leader in last-mile electric mobility, today announced the formation of a Global Safety Advisory Board, which will create, advise, and implement global programs, campaigns, and products to improve the safety of those riding Birds and other e-scooters. As part of its commitment to safety, Bird also announced that it will develop a dedicated fund from the revenue it is setting aside as part of its Save Our Sidewalks pledge to cities to create protected bike lanes.
Leading the Global Safety Advisory Board is David Strickland, a nationally-recognized transportation leader who previously led the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). As the top automotive safety official in the United States, he played a central role in safety-first initiatives to reduce distracted driving and drunken driving and ensured the highest standards of safety on the nation’s roads. As head of NHTSA, Strickland oversaw the development of the first national fuel economy programs for passenger vehicles, launched the nation’s largest connected vehicle safety pilot program, and issued the first automated vehicle policy.
“Bird is bringing the future of transportation to cities all over the world – a future that doesn’t rely exclusively on cars and is less damaging to our environment,” said David Strickland, director of Bird’s Global Safety Advisory Board. “As this valuable work progresses, we also want to make sure that it is a safe future as well. I look forward to working with the Bird team and the cities in which the company operates to make city streets as safe as possible for all road users.”
Under the leadership of Strickland and in partnership with Bird, the new Global Safety Advisory Board will create, advise, and implement global safety programs, campaigns, and products. Specifically, the board will focus on increasing the safety of people riding slow-speed electric scooters in a car-centric world as well the safety and security of individuals who share space with these riders such as pedestrians and bicyclists. Over the coming weeks, Bird will name other members of the Global Safety Advisory Board, and they will include representatives from global organizations, local governments, private citizens, and transportation and safety experts.
Complementing the Global Safety Advisory Board, Bird is taking the next step in fulfilling its Save Our Sidewalks pledge in working with cities to increase rider safety and establishing a fund to improve the quality of bike lanes in cities where Bird operates. Improvements will include repainting and repairing existing bike lanes as well as creating protected bike lanes.
“The potential of the new devices pioneered by Bird for convenient and sustainable urban transportation depends on making them safe for riders and the public. That’s a shared responsibility requiring companies to be accountable for safe vehicles and safe operations – and cities to accelerate the creation of complete streets that can safely accommodate bikes, scooters and whatever comes next,” said Rick Cole, City Manager, City of Santa Monica.
“When founding Bird, I committed to creating a transportation company that placed safety above growth and helping cities transition from being car-centric to people-centric,” said Travis VanderZanden, founder and CEO of Bird. “The Global Safety Advisory Board and this next phase of the Save Our Sidewalks pledge are two ways in which Bird can live up to these values. The Bird management team and I look forward to working with David and the Board to implement the recommendations they generate as we continue on our journey to reduce the number of cars on the road and help to better connect cities around the world.”
As the pioneer in the dock-free e-scooter space, Bird invited all companies in the dock-free transportation space to join the company in taking the Save Our Sidewalks Pledge. The three core planks of the pledge include: collecting all vehicles each night for charging and necessary maintenance; practicing responsible growth by only adding more vehicles when each Bird averages three or more rides per day; and remitting $1 per vehicle per day to cities to build more bike lanes, promote safe riding, and maintain shared infrastructure. We once again call on our peers to join Bird in taking this industry-leading pledge to the cities we serve.
Bird is a last-mile electric vehicle sharing company dedicated to bringing affordable, environmentally friendly transportation solutions to communities across the world. It provides a fleet of shared electric scooters that can be accessed via smartphone. Birds give people looking to take a short journey across town or down that “last-mile” from the subway or bus to their destination a way to do so that does not pollute the air or add to traffic. Bird works closely with the cities in which it operates so that Bird is a reliable and affordable transportation option for people who live and work there. Founded in 2017 by transportation pioneer Travis VanderZanden, Bird is headquartered in Venice, Calif., and is rapidly expanding across the country. Follow Bird on Instagram (www.instagram.com/bird), on Twitter at @BirdRide, and find more information at www.bird.co.