Helmet call after teen's e-scooter crash

Lime e-scooters arrived on the streets on Monday, with 600 scooters distributed across Auckland...
Lime e-scooters arrived on the streets on Monday, with 600 scooters distributed across Auckland and 400 in Christchurch. Image: NZ Herald

A father whose son was injured in a Lime e-scooter crash says the service is great for cities - but helmets should be mandatory.

The man who spoke to The New Zealand Herald anonymously said his 15-year-old son was injured yesterday in Auckland when he lost control after being buffeted by a strong wind on Tamaki Dr.

He took a knock on the head which needed an X-ray, as well as some scrapes and bruises.

The father said everything was okay after a check-up but it was "just a matter of time" until someone was seriously injured unless wearing helmets became compulsory.

Lime e-scooters arrived on the streets on Monday, with 600 scooters distributed across Auckland and 400 in Christchurch.

The father's comments come as ACC confirmed there have been "some" claims for injuries in Christchurch and Auckland for e-scooters since the launch.

"There have been fewer than four injuries in each city."

There were no claims for e-scooter injuries anywhere else in the country during this time, an ACC spokesman said.

The father said his son had gone into the city about midday yesterday intending to Uber home. But after seeing the scooter he decided to use that instead.

Despite being 15, and the scooters being age restricted, he ticked a box on the app and he was on his way.

He got hit by a wind draft, "got blown around a bit" and lost control and fell.

"He banged his head and hand, he appears to be ok now. We went in for X-rays, he appears to be quite lethargic today but he is ok."

The boy was helped up by some strangers and taken to St Heliers Medical Centre by a former nurse where he spent two hours.

"Once a nurse always a nurse. We would like to thank her."

Having ridden the scooter before the father had implicitly told his son to wear a helmet but his son asked: "Who carries a helmet around on the off chance they ride a scooter?".

"The doctor gave him in writing that if he was going to ride the scooter again he had to wear a helmet. "

The crash could have been much worse, he said, and he feared that ahead of the long weekend the scooters would put a strain on emergency rooms which were already filled to the brim.

"There should be a requirement [for helmets]. I like the idea of the scooter, we want more people to be more active and this allows them to get places."

Newstalk ZB producer Tom Thexton also took a spill during a commute to work yesterday.

Thexton decided to try the scooter out during his commute to work from Kingsland to the NZME building in Auckland's CBD.

He travelled around 3.2km in 20 minutes and during the final league on the cycleway he got into trouble when he took his eyes off the prize.

"I was reaching into my pocket for something, and it felt like it applied the brakes and then I went over the handlebars.

"You can see how people have accidents on them, they are pretty quick. You need to use a decent amount of caution to avoid any issues."

Although the scooters had an age restriction, he had seen two high school students using them.

 

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