Recently released data shows that nearly 60 Canberrans were presented to emergency rooms at Canberra and Calvary hospitals with scooter-related injuries in the first few months since their introduction to the Territory.
Seven people visited Calvary Hospital while more than 50 were presented to Canberra Hospital. One of those people was Dan, who had broken both wrists when a car pulled out of a Hungry Jacks driveway and hit him while driving.
Dan told Region Media: “Since the scooters don’t have a big center of gravity, I fell straight onto the road and landed hard on both wrists. I think I was in a state of shock because the only thing I could think about was that I would be late for work. “
Dan tried to keep rolling before giving up and catching an Uber.
However, by the time he got to work the shock had subsided and the pain set in – so he went to ED.
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Still, Dan remains an avid e-scooter user and says the e-scooters are great for shorter trips when public transportation or walking is not an option.
He also says that rocking a scooter to work in an elementary school every morning made me infinitely cool in the kids’ eyes.
However, to avoid repeating the same situation, both the e-scooter companies – Beam and Neuron – and the ACT government believe that both drivers and drivers need training. He suggests that a YouTube video campaign could be helpful in reminding riders that e-scooter riders, like cyclists, need to be watched.
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Another avid e-scooter he says he had a near miss that could break his ribs, feet and hands, but managed to get bruises all over his body instead.
What he does ask for, however, is better path maintenance, especially in older suburbs like Ainslie, where cracks and bumps are common, which means they’re not as well suited for e-scooters.
Other scooters have sustained injuries such as broken fingers, ankles and shins.
Ali Bryant says he “drove home after a tame night in the rain” when he misjudged how slippery the roads were and fell off the scooter, “landing funny”.
After introducing himself at Canberra Hospital, he was told that these types of injuries were “all too common”.
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Allegra has also harmed himself, falling off a neuron a few weeks ago, breaking her tibia and tearing a ligament in her shin. She suggests that all e-scooters must be equipped with lights if they are to be driven in the evening.
Both are not deterred by their injuries and ride on.
Some, of course, take full responsibility for their misfortunes. A user we spoke to noted that her ankle injury was sustained while driving home at 4:00 a.m. (and, in hindsight, shouldn’t have been sitting on a scooter).
E-scooter providers emphasize that it is illegal to use scooters under the influence of alcohol or drugs and that they must not be driven together. Neuron’s fleet (orange) is only allowed to be used by users aged 18 and over, while Beam (purple) allows users aged 16 and over. Helmets are compulsory and should only be used if absolutely necessary (as in, there is no footpath).
ACT Policing requires common sense from all users. Both Beam and Neuron regularly run safety programs and campaigns to train drivers and potential drivers.