LONDON (Reuters) - Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Just Eat pledged to keep their motorcycle couriers and other road users safer in London by signing a charter with the capital's Transport for London (TfL) authority on Tuesday.
Couriers delivering takeaways and groceries on motorbikes, mopeds and electric bicycles have become ubiquitous in London and other cities in recent years.
But concerns have been raised about the competence of riders who take risks to deliver orders as quickly as possible.
Media reports have also highlighted the practice of couriers renting a registered user's account to circumvent checks on their right to work in Britain.
The big providers allow couriers to use someone else for deliveries provided they check the substitute has the right to work and is aware of applicable laws, including road safety.
The voluntary charter - which has also been signed by groceries company Getir and delivery company Stuart - consists of 10 road safety principles, including legal requirements for riding and working in Britain, riding safely and realistic delivery schedules, TfL said.
Lilli Matson, TfL's chief safety officer, said the significant rise in motorcycle deliveries over the past few years could not come at the expense of safety.
"People are tragically losing their lives in avoidable motorcycle collisions, which all too often also injure or kill other road users," she said.
"This is why we're working closely with delivery, courier and servicing companies to address these sources of road danger and protect the lives of riders and everyone else on London's streets."
People riding motorcycles face the greatest likelihood of death or serious injury, TfL said. Motorcycles, mopeds and scooters represented 2.6% of kilometres driven, but accounted for around 27% of deaths and serious injuries from 2017-2021 in London, it said, with around 30 people killed each year.
(Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Sharon Singleton)