In early July 2018, Bird, an electric scooter company, released 150 scooters in Raleigh, North Carolina for public transportation use. City goers and city officials have voiced concerns regarding the safety and storage of the scooters, especially because policymakers have not discussed where users should ride and leave their scooters. The additional transportation option has initiated conversations on how to safely implement the use of these scooters.
Bird scooters are a clean, efficient, and fun mode of transportation. They cost just $1 to begin a session and 15 cents per minute. Each scooter can reach a speed of 15 mph and need to be recharged after approximately 15 miles.
While these scooters offer a unique way of traveling through cities, scooter riders and other travelers should keep safety at the forefront when on the roads. Bird users must agree to wear a helmet during account registration, but not everyone wears a helmet during their rides. This can lead to very dangerous accidents and injuries.
In July 2018, there were already two accidents involving Bird riders who were not wearing helmets. Riders should always remember to wear their helmets to have some protection in the event of an impact from another vehicle or object. Even with a helmet, scooter riders can suffer more injuries than passengers in a motor vehicle, who have external protection. When riding in bike lanes, scooter riders must obey the same traffic rules as any motor vehicle by stopping and yielding appropriately.
Whitley Law Firm urges the public to remember safety precautions such as wearing helmets and being aware of other pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicles while riding Bird scooters.
While Bird scooters offer the Raleigh community an efficient and enjoyable transportation option, Bird scooters can only be properly implemented across a city when people follow traffic laws and keep the safety of themselves and others in mind.