The NYC DOT recently announced that a new scooter pilot program is on the way but did not elaborate much as what will be done to prevent accidents and make the rides safe for users. In a recent press conference, the new DOT commissioner, Hank Gutman, just promised new dedicated bike lanes in the East Bronx to make the rides safer for scooter users and cyclists.
While it is exciting that commuters who have a long way to get to the closest train station can now benefit from such programs, it is important that these commuters can do so safely. Street safety activists believe that while encouraging New Yorkers not to use a car, the NYC DOT has been lagging behind in keeping cyclists and scooter users safe. Last year a record number of people were killed or injured in bicycle accidents.
Scooter-share programs have now been launched in many cities all over the word. Every state has different regulations when it comes to safety but they are not standardized like they are in some European countries. For example in Italy, a law requires all users of recreational scooters to use a helmet to reduce head injuries which are quite common in scooter accidents.
According to a Rutgers study released in 2019, facial and head injuries related to scooter accidents have tripled over the last decade. Researchers estimated that around 32,000 people are suffering head injuries in scooter accidents in the US every year. Traumatic brain injuries were the most common, followed by facial cuts and abrasions. Approximately two third of the scooter riders who suffered head injuries were not wearing a helmet. In the study, researchers advocate in favor of legislation that would require all scooter users to wear a helmet.s
In a recent Tweet, Link Scooter is sharing a safety video to explain to scooters users what they can do to ride safely and avoid injuring themselves and others. Wearing a helmet and respecting pedestrians are key.
— LINK Scooters (@LINK_Scooters) February 5, 2021