Restrictions Pulled Back For Electric Scooters
Whether you love them, hate them, or use them, e-scooters have become a reality in many U.S. cities. They are popular among urban residents and on college campuses as a way to get around without having to hail an Uber or use a personal vehicle. The popularity of these vehicles comes with a downside: companies that rent out these scooters like Bird and Lime recommend wearing helmets, but do not provide them. Since their arrival in cities across the nation, reports of scooter-related injuries seen in hospital emergency departments have surged. These injuries typically involve head injuries, broken bones, and lacerations.
Mashable reports that the New York State Senate has passed a bill to lessen restrictions associated with motor-assisted pedal bikes and e-scooters.
On Wednesday, the New York State Senate passed a bill to pull back restrictions for electric-assisted bicycles and e-scooters. Previously, scooter rental companies like Lime, Bird, Uber, and Lyft have not been able to operate in New York City and other cities throughout the state.
Individual cities will be able to pass their own rules and regulations regarding the motorized vehicles. As a part of the deal, however, Manhattan will not be allowing the vehicles in an attempt to minimize congestion. However, individual e-scooter owners can still ride the vehicles in Manhattan.
The decision comes as studies point to an increase in injuries related to e-scooter use. A Rutgers New Jersey Medical School study published just last month revealed that head injuries have almost tripled in the past decade due to e-scooter use. The study also revealed that 66% of those injured on e-scooters were not wearing helmets.
As local regulations are hashed out, residents can expect scooters to begin making their appearance in the coming months.