Keeping Food Delivery Riders Safe in NSW

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February 22, 2021
Updated on:
May 16, 2024

A view on policy by Mina Nada & Zoomo

The recent accidents costing the lives of food delivery riders in NSW are tragic and require attention from both government agencies and the private sector. It is good to see that the NSW Government has responded appropriately, appointing a joint SafeWork NSW/Transport NSW Taskforce to examine and identify safety improvements for the food delivery sector.

Having promoted the safe use of e-bikes in Australia for more than three years, rider safety is at the heart of Zoomo. We are pleased to be supporting the Taskforce in its work, and this week welcomed its policy direction, set out in a Draft Guide to Managing Work, Health and Safety in the Food Delivery Industry.

A growing sector with multiple stakeholders

The Draft Guide, set out by the Taskforce, recognizes that the food delivery sector is a growing area of work and opportunity. It identifies key stakeholders - including food delivery platforms, restaurant outlets and delivery riders - calling for further cooperation to improve outcomes for all. It is worth remembering these various 'actors on the stage' when your favourite meal arrives warm and fresh, before you've even peeled from the couch.

With the support of the Australian Government, Zoomo plays a key role supporting arguably the most important actor on the stage: the delivery rider. We have served thousands of food delivery riders in Australia, with our quality-assured e-bikes almost entirely used by food delivery couriers.

We do more than just distribute e-bikes: we provide servicing of our bikes to ensure that they are fit for purpose and safe for use on public roads. We genuinely believe that building and maintaining trust with food delivery riders is not only good common sense, but good business sense too.

Our recommendations for better protecting riders were shared with the joint Taskforce last month and are outlined in the below infographic for reference:

Zoomo was pleased to see the Draft Guide respond positively to our recommendations, calling out the poorly maintained, unsafe bicycle/motor scooter or motorbike types of bikes not approved for use in NSW, as being hazardous.

Ultimately, safer e-bikes means better safety for riders and road users.

Zoomo was further encouraged to see recommendations in the Draft Guide include:

  • Greater awareness of the existing laws that ban unsafe e-bikes;
  • Ensuring e-bikes are fit for purpose - including appropriate front and back lights, reflectors, compliant brakes, horns and/or bells;
  • Ensuring greater education to promote e-bike safety compliance
  • Rider safety training including: road rules, bike rules, riding skills & hazard training

The Way Forward

As the preferred and trusted e-bike partner for major food delivery operators (including Uber Eats, Deliveroo and DoorDash), Zoomo will continue to work closely with both our partners and government regulators on initiatives that provide safety for all on our roads.

As the NSW Minister for Transport, the Hon. Andrew Constance MP said, any life lost on our road is one too many — a view strongly supported by Zoomo.

The next round of consultation on the Joint Taskforce: Food Delivery (Draft Guide) will conclude on the 26th February, with more information available here.

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