Scooters, (and micro-mobility in general) have become a legitimate part of plans for many cities all over the world to fulfill objectives to reduce car-dependency, thereby mitigating pollution, and saving lives due to vehicular crashes.
Paul Steely White, after 14 years leading Transportation Alternatives, is now taking on a new role as director of safety policy and advocacy at Bird, an electric scooter rental company. He has been New York City’s most vocal champions of pedestrians, cyclists and public transit.
White tweeted: “This is the 2nd time in 2 weeks that someone who should have known better has grossly misreported the UCLA scooter study. “50x more injuries” is not the same as 50 more injuries (vs. bikes).”
We tweeted in reply: “This kind of reporting is obviously focusing on the wrong issue. Can’t help wondering whether they’re funded by the automotive industry.”
Journalists have taken up the issue of scooter dangers. So let’s play a game. Read this article (or any article about the dangers of scooters, where the writer is cautioning about the numbers of injuries, helmet use, etc. and substitute the word “car” for “scooter.” Let’s keep this number top of mind: 40,000 people were killed last year in vehicular crashes.
BY DR. JONATHAN FIELDING, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR
This movement may be good for clearing the air, easing automobile congestion and building valuation (Bird and Lime are worth about $2B each), but municipalities, manufacturers and sharing companies need to address pressing safety, health and environmental problems already taking root.
That need becomes urgent as e-scooter popularity skyrockets. In 2018, shared e-scooter and bicycle trips in the U.S. more than doubled over 2017’s baseline to reach 84 million; rentable e- scooters alone accounted for more than 38.5 million trips.
Growing injuries match the growing popularity. Many emergency rooms have reported leaps in e-scooter injuries, causing several municipalities to ban their use. There’s an increased acknowledgement that safety concerns present a major barrier to mass adoption, as companies face fresh regulatory pushback and litigation risk amid reports of vehicle malfunctions and deaths.
Read about it: