According to the Associated Press, Hospital ERs report a 161% spike in visits involving electric scooters. These injuries are becoming an epidemic. Most injuries are between the ages of 20-50 years old, and some injuries stem from getting injured when attempting to catch themselves during a fall. Yet, there are plenty of injuries from broken bones and teeth to punctured lungs and lacerations requiring plastic surgery.
A group of San Diegans last month made a proposal to San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer to address the safety issues over electric scooters. The group calls itself “Safe Walkways” and for further information from them you can email them at email@example.com. They claim rental scooters are making it unsafe to even walk around parts of town and much more needs to be done to hold companies and users accountable for their unsafe choices.
Here is the Mayor’s response to the proposal:
1. "The regulations the mayor will soon bring forward will include limiting the speed of the devices in high-pedestrian traffic areas;
2. Limiting how and where devices can be staged and parked;
3. Indemnification of the city and a requirement of liability;
4. Insurance, better education of riders about local laws;
5. Data sharing and fees for the right to use our public right-of-way..."
There have been many injuries due to these E-scooters in the last year from pedestrian injuries to fatalities. Much of the chaos comes from not following the safe driving rules. It IS illegal to ride an E-scooter without a helmet (if you are under 18, and it is optional over 18 years of age), and it is illegal to ride one on a sidewalk, UNLESS, per California Vehicle Code Section 21235, the rider is leaving or entering “an adjacent property.” This includes scooters by Lime, Spin, Bird, Scoot, Lyft, Uber and Skip.
First, they are meant for single riders…not a minor child with an adult, two adults, etc. Second, anyone under 18 is legally required to wear a helmet, and they are supposed to be ridden on marked paths (like bicycles have) or street, NOT the sidewalk. See above for the one exception for sidewalk riding.
Here is a photograph of two adult men illegally riding an E-scooter in the middle of the Gas Lamp quarter… the odds are high they have been drinking just by looking at the photograph and where they are located, in an area of town loaded with bars:
Photograph courtesy of San Diego Union-Tribune
The moral to this blog post is to be careful out there…you have to be even more aware of your surroundings when walking around commercial areas. I will also do my best to post more blogs on what is going to happen with this E-scooter mess.
If you, or someone you know, has been injured in a California E-scooter crash injury due to some other person not being careful enough, first download my free injury guidebook. The book will let you know about what you can expect, your legal rights, and if you even need a lawyer for your E-scooter collision case.
If you have further questions or concerns and would like to speak to me for free, you can call me directly at (619) 813-7955. I will be more than happy to point you in the right direction for your injury case. Stay strong, Attorney Mark Blane.