The big gripe I have about the scooters is safety risk. Aside from just leaving them wherever people want is the fact that most users are not carrying helmets with them. Granted it’s a shorter fall if knocked over or you lose your footing. Considering that most users will be around campus and downtown, it’ll be amusing to see how many people get hurt scootering while drunk. I’ve come across a few scooterites demonstrating their haughty millennial lack of awareness cluelessly obstructing bike lanes. Or worse, operating in bikes lanes, and not knowing how to do so courteously.
I didn’t know until yesterday that bicyclists in NYC aren’t required to wear a helmet above a certain age: NYC DOT FAQ Bicycling in New York.
Q: Does the law require a bicyclist to wear a helmet?
A: In New York State, all bicyclists under the age of 14 years old are required to wear safety certified bicycle helmets when they are operators or passengers on bicycles (Sec. 1238(5)). Children aged 1 to 4 must wear certified bicycle helmet and ride in specially designed child safety seats. Children under 1 are prohibited from being transported on a bicycle (Sec. 1238(1)(2)). Any parent or guardian who permits his or her child to violate the helmet law is subject to a fine of up to $50 (Sec. 1238(3),(6)(a)).
But localities can set their own rules:
Rockland and Erie counties require everyone riding bicycles on county property, regardless of age, to wear approved bicycle helmets.
When I see electric skateboarders without helmets, I cringe. They are risking traumatic brain injury, even death.
So I won’t be surprised to hear about TBI and even deaths from people riding Bird eScooters when they finally come to NYC (and that day is inevitable, despite what the useless Mayor or backwards City Council want!). Most of those deaths will have been brought on by outright carelessness or idiocy (“Hey, watch this!”).
But there are still people riding bikes carefully who are mowed down by cars. And this is happening all over the place, not just in New York City.
So bring on the Bird eScooters. Ride them at your own damn risk. And if you’re not going to be careful and treat every car like it’s aiming to kill you, that’s on you.