Caution urged over e-scooters as students return

A Lime scooter parked opposite the University of Otago Registry Building. Photo: Gerard O'Brien
A Lime scooter parked opposite the University of Otago Registry Building. Photo: Gerard O'Brien

Dunedin Hospital's emergency department is "apprehensive'' about the student influx leading to more Lime Scooter injuries.

Department clinical leader Dr John Chambers said today he urged students to be "sensible, stay safe and wear a helmet'' if using the e-scooters.

"It is also important that scooter users realise that pedestrians may not hear them coming up behind them at some speed.''

Helmets were compulsory in Brisbane "for good reason'', he said.

"ED staff are apprehensive about the next few weeks when thousands of young students will come back into town and many will be tempted to have a go.''

The department looked after a "number of e-scooter patients with painful and serious injuries'' in the past few weeks.

"We have not collated actual numbers, but anecdotally, initially we saw around 5 to 7 presentations per day directly attributable to Lime Scooters. This number has reduced to between 1 and 2 per day.''

A Lime spokesman said the safety of its riders was its "number one priority''.

"We're constantly developing and implementing new tools and product features to further promote safe riding, and will continue to see all the ways we can proactively educate riders on safe riding habits.''

When asked the spokesman did not comment on whether the company would provide helmets in New Zealand as it had in some cities overseas.

Lime would host a local "Safety Summit'' in collaboration with the University of Otago during Orientation Week for a "constructive conversation around the safety implications of shared mobility'', he said.

"We encourage riders to wear helmets at all times through messaging in our app and on our scooters.''

Between November 14, 2018 and January 29, 2019 there were 37 ACC claims in Dunedin involving e-scooters, equalling $3321.

The company launched in the city on January 10.

This compares to 70 claims involving push scooters.

Nationwide there were 931 e-scooter claims in that time, compared to 3564 for push scooters.

Lime released a statement this week saying its scooters were "transforming the streets of Dunedin''.

It recorded more than 75,000 rides and 20,000 unique riders in three weeks.

The company said this meant "more than 80,000km of driving has been avoided; reducing the city's reliance on cars and carbon emissions''.

This was an "approximate assumption'' based on global results implying 66% of riders would have driven or been driven if they had not ridden a Lime, a spokeswoman said.

jono.edwards@odt.co.nz 

Comments

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Lets play a game - All hospital time and resources spent on Lime Scooters accidents including invoicing should be invoiced to each Council monthly , who pays the Hospital, the Council then claims from NZTA. who then claims from ACC. When NZTA gets paid from ACC that is when they pay the Council. As Dumb as a box of hammers that all sounds, it might wake up these clowns up at council and take notice on what they approve and, how their actions impact on others. Also when Cull meets the new Students and welcomes them to the town, how about the Lime Company attend as a guest speaker so they can talk to the students as well about safety and possibly give them a voucher. Maybe Dr John Chambers or his junior could also attend and hammer home to the students to look after one and other and discuss the injuries he and his staff see. Telling the students don't be afraid to be the one who stands up and stops a drunk mate from doing something stupid, but also remind them the next day how Dumb it was what they were going to do and how you want to see them graduate and don't want them to go home to loved ones in a box or a wheel chair

Electric powered scooters that are allowed on footpaths plus alcohol powered students.....what could possibly go wrong?

Motorists 'come up behind them at speed'. Why? Are they driving blind, in reverse?

'A Lime spokesman said the safety of its riders was its "number one priority''.' - utter nonsense... making a profit is #1 or they would not be here... And what about the safety of pedestrians?

'This was an "approximate assumption'' based on global results implying 66% of riders would have driven or been driven if they had not ridden a Lime, a spokeswoman said.'
Rubbish - they would be better off walking...

Just recall the scooters, the product is not safe

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