As the Number of Electric Scooters Increases in Sacramento, So Does the Potential for Injuries

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SACRAMENTO -- The popular electric scooters you've seen buzzing around Sacramento and West Sacramento the last couple of months, well, you're about to see a lot more of them.

The city's Transportation Planning Manager tells FOX40 that two new vendors will hit the streets with a total of about 600 more e-scooters in the next few weeks.

But with more electric scooters comes more concerns over safety.

Since the beginning of 2018, nine scooter deaths have occurred on rented vehicles. However, none in the city of Sacramento.

As stand-up electronic scooters have rolled out into more than 100 cities worldwide including many of the people riding them are ending up in the emergency room with injuries, or worse.

Data on injuries or fatalities linked to scooters is hard to come by and the city of Sacramento has only had a couple of months to see for themselves.

Sacramento is in the process of upgrading close to 50 blocks with painted streets and safer bike lanes.

“I feel people watch out for bikes and scooters more often now,” said scooter rider Fernando Gonzalez.

So, some level of safety must also fall directly on each operator.

“We also expect folks to learn how to properly operate an urban environment to make sure they're safe as well,” said Jennifer Donlon Wyant, City Transportation Specialist.

With summer fast approaching and the number of electric scooters on Sacramento streets set to increase by about 600 within the next month, anticipate a lot more riders to be buzzing along the downtown streets in traffic.

“We want everyone to share the space and watch out for each other, and for everyone to travel in an appropriate way,” Wyant said.

Maybe the biggest safety concern over the electric scooters is riding them on the sidewalk which is illegal but remains a regular occurrence.

“The city has invested a lot in our bikeway infrastructure downtown, and we're really encouraging and hoping, plus it's required by law, that scooter users scoot using our bike-lane facilities,” Wyant said.

And those who do scoot have their own ideas about improving the safety for all.

“Maybe like brighter lights. I mean, for sure bike lanes. Not every street has bike lanes, so if you're not familiar with downtown, it’s kind of hard to get around or know what streets to take,” Gonzalez said.

One thing is for sure, as the demand continues to increase so will the number of scooter injuries.

Head injuries among scooter riders are the most common since operators are not required to wear a helmet.

The city of Sacramento does offer an urban biking and scooting class.


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