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Culture / Travel

Electric Scooter Craze Being Blamed for Injuries in Texas

Are These Easy Rides a Great Convenience or a New Age Plague?

BY

Electric scooters have been in the news plenty since they started popping up on the streets of America’s biggest cities, including San Antonio, Austin and Dallas in a major way. In many ways, these e-scooters are the new transportation rage.

Of course, when the scooters are pushed over or abandoned in the middle of the street, these electric wheels gain even more notoriety. And not so many fans.

Don’t believe it? There’s even an Instagram account dedicated to the fallen scooters.

An Austin man is suing Lime after he allegedly tripped over one of the company’s scooters on a North Austin sidewalk. Timely enough, the CDC and Austin Public Health (APH) are launching a study on these trendy scooters that are giving traditional modes of transportation a run — or maybe a roll —  for their money, and annoying plenty of folks along the way.

The CDC is pairing up with APH on a study due to increasing reports from the medical community about injuries related to using dockless electric scooters.

So far, APH is interviewing people who went to a hospital emergency department or who called the City of Austin EMS from September 5, 2018, through November 30, 2018. All eight hospitals in Austin have assisted in providing names of persons seen in their emergency department for injuries caused by these electric scooters.

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Jeff Taylor, part of APH’s Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit, tells PaperCity: “Austin Public Health decided to conduct this study because of increasing reports from the medical community about injuries related to using dockless electric scooters.”

According to Bird and Lime, riders of these electric scooters must be over 18, have a drivers license, follow traffic rules and wear a helmet.

However, many pedestrians can attest that a lot of these rules are rarely followed, in particular the one about riders wearing a helmet. And since most riders use the scooters on sidewalks in heavily trafficked areas of cities, on more than one occasion I’ve been thrown off guard by a scooter racing past me in my downtown neighborhood.

Most cities that have seen the surge of these scooters are now looking at how to regulate them, as well as assessing their risks for riders and passersby.

It looks like Texas just can’t roll with it.

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