Since July 13, 2019, dozens of people have shown up at Calgary emergency rooms with injuries related to electric scooter use.

"We’ve seen over 60 injuries in the last ten days that are reported to be related to scooters," said Dr. Eddy Lang, an emergency room physician with Alberta Health Services. "A third of those are fractures, ten per cent are above the clavicle or involving the face or head."

Lang says July 17 saw a peak, with ten patients seeking treatment that day including some suffering from an e-scooter injury that is becoming commonplace. "One thing we are being alerted to (is) when people are pushing off with their right foot there is a nut or a bolt on the back wheel that is catching a lot of them as they propel themselves forward and this is causing ankle sprains and ankle injuries."

San Francisco-based company Lime officially launched a shared e-scooter service in Calgary on July 15 and plans to roll out a fleet of 1,000 e-scooters as part of a 16-month pilot project.

Lime doesn’t use docking stations, instead the scooters can be located and unlocked through the company’s app and picked up where they were left by the last rider. Lime charges a fixed rate to unlock and then per minute as you ride.

According to the City of Calgary, shared electric scooters are allowed on sidewalks, bike lanes or pathways. "In the absence of a sidewalk, exclusive bicycle lane or pathway, the customer must dismount and walk the electric scooter."

The City says helmets are encouraged, but not mandatory. Lang highly recommends all users protect their heads. "The most important message to get out right now is that if you’re going to be using these e-scooters, be sure that you have head protection and wear a helmet."

Lang is now starting a project with researchers from the University of Calgary looking into e-scooter injuries that may result in safety recommendations.

In Calgary, e-scooter rider John McAllister says he feels the most safe in bike lanes and hasn’t had any close-calls. "I think as long as you use common sense, then you should be good to go."

Lime said it encourages riders to always ride in bike lanes when available and to always wear a helmet. The company states it has enhanced safety initiatives including upgraded wheels, better suspension, additional braking and improved balance, and recently distributed 250,000 helmets to riders across the globe.

"The safety of our riders and the community is our number one priority," said Lime officials in a statement. "That’s why every day we’re innovating on technology, infrastructure and education to set the standard for micro-mobility safety. We appreciate the attention on this very important issue, and we look forward to working with the industry, medical community and regulators to create a meaningful ecosystem for this new and evolving technology."

In other cities, e-scooter injuries have turned fatal. On Wednesday, a man in Atlanta died after colliding with a transit bus.