Lime puts $3 million toward promoting e-scooter safety

It's even giving away helmets in a bid to foster good behavior.

E-scooter companies have faced plenty of criticism for allegedly doing too little to foster safety (not to mention basic respect for the law) among riders, and Lime appears to be tackling this issue head-on. It's launching a $3 million "Respect the Ride" campaign to both promote safety and educate customers. The initiative will venture beyond existing efforts, such as safer scooters and a safety ambassador program, to include "multi-channel" ads asking riders to wear helmets, park properly and honor local laws. There's a new Head of Trust and Safety to manage the company's strategy, and there will be a summit to discuss safety and policies with key partners and governments.

Lime is also relying on another, simpler tactic to promote safety: it's offering freebies. The first 25,000 users who promise to adopt a Respect the Ride pledge will get a free Lime helmet in the mail, with 250,000 free helmets reaching people worldwide in the space of the next six months.

The push could raise awareness of safety and legal issues that many riders simply ignore. This is also a pragmatic business move on Lime's part, though. The campaign could help burnish Lime's image, assuaging skeptical officials who aren't convinced it has the public interest at heart. Not that it's guaranteed to work -- it may convince some riders to wear a helmet during their commutes, but regulators may want more drastic action.