E-scooter riders continue to wheel into the ER
E-scooters are all the rage in Calgary right now, but riders continue to get injured.
Alberta Health Services officials say since July 10, 2019, 145 people have ended up in the emergency department from scooter-related injuries. AHS says the majority of the visits were to the Alberta Children’s Hospital and the Sheldon M. Chumir Health Centre.
The e-scooters are part of a 16-month pilot project, but won’t operate during the winter months.
There are approximately 1,500 scooters in the Calgary network, run by two operators.
Bird Canada launched July 26th. Thursday, the company handed out free helmets in the East Village and offered safety tips. General manager Alex Petre said safety is top priority and riders should follow the rules.
“We’ve been working very closely with the city of Calgary to promote the message that scooting should only happen on sidewalks and bike lanes and it should not happen on roadways as legislated by the Government of Alberta. The other thing we should all keep in mind is that you need to be over 18.”
Petre said Bird stops operation at 11 p.m. for safety reasons, saying there have been incidents late at night in other big cities.
The City of Calgary is allowing riders to use the shared electric scooters on sidewalks, bicycle lanes or pathways.“In the absence of a sidewalk, exclusive bicycle lane or pathway, the customer must dismount and walk the electric scooter,” reads the City’s website.
Andrew Sedor with the City of Calgary’s transportation department said first time riders need to be careful. "If you haven’t ridden an e-scooter before, try to ride it in an area on a pathway that’s not congested with people."
Sedor said doubling up on the scooters is illegal. Parents also aren’t allowed to sign up their children with their credit cards, you must be at least 18 to ride.
The City says since the e-scooters launched, there have been 150,000 rides, from 50,000 riders, about five per cent of Calgary’s population.
The City is collecting user data, complaints to 311 and will present a report to city council in December.
For more information head to the City of Calgary – e-scooters.