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Celebrity's death on e-scooter sparks new concerns

Emily Hartridge's scooter-related death last week marked the first of its kind in Britain.

July 15, 2019 - 3:48 pm
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(KMOX) — After a Youtube star was involved in a fatal accident while riding an electric scooter through the busy streets of London, safety concerns about the motorized transportation devices are surfacing.

According to the Guardian, Emily Hartrigde's death last week marked the first of its kind in Britain. In the U.S., a 26-year-old Nashville resident's death prompted the the mayor to ban the e-scooters altogether.

Meanwhile in St. Louis, though no deaths have been reported, emergency room workers are seeing as many as 11 scooter-related injuries per week, as reported by St. Louis Public Radio in January. 

According to a report published in April from Bird — one company that has scooters zipping around St. Louis — riders of Bird scooters report one incident for every 27,000 miles ridden, which equals .01% of trips. This reporting method is similar to that of bicycling injuries, however, Bird's numbers are collected when riders report any incidents, not just those resulting in hospital visits, and excludes those incidents that resulted in a hospital visit and were not reported to Bird.

Scooter providers in St. Louis, Bird and Lime, say they are committed to working with government officials — and St. Louis' newly established Scooter Safety Task Force — to increase safety surrounding the transportation method. As a part of its "Respect the Ride" campaign, Lime pledges to distribute 250,000 free helmets worldwide. Bird encourages all riders to wear helmets and will even send a free one to those willing to pay for shipping. Recently dropped-off scooters from Spin also hope to promote safety through a partnership with a company that produces folding helmets. Spin members receive a discount link to the helmet in their email when they sign up.

In November 2018, professors at Washington University wrote a letter to Mayor Lyda Krewson urging for a task force centered around scooter safety.

Washington University Professors' Scooter Letter to Mayor by EntercomSTL on Scribd

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