May 4 2019
06:41 am

Since electric scooters began populating streets of some of the country’s biggest cities last year, there has been a surge in emergency room visits for fractures, dislocations and head trauma,
The CDC has found that head injuries topped the list of accident-related incidents involving e-scooters at 45%.
The study, which lasted nearly three months, found the e-scooter injury rate was 14.3 per 100,000 trips.

The median age for people injured was 29. The majority of injuries occurred on the street, with 29% connected to first-time riders and 18% involving motor vehicles.

At least nine people injured by e-scooters have filed a lawsuit in California against Lime, Bird, Segway and other operators. A similar lawsuit was filed in Colorado.
"While acting under the guise of commendable goals of furthering personal freedom and mobility and protecting the environment," the lawsuit claims, companies are "endangering the health, safety, and welfare of riders, pedestrians and the general public."

I suppose they could sue the rider as well.

Be careful out there. Do not hurt innocent pedestrians.

michael kaplan's picture

What exactly is the purpose

What exactly is the purpose of the city providing electric scooters? Is this making money for the city? Does Knoxville only follow what other cities have done or are doing?** I was having dinner in Fort Sanders last week and the scooters were zooming around on sidewalks everywhere, endangering pedestrians. This seems insane.

**I'm thinking in particular of cities across the country adopting the 'clean up' policy of evicting vagrants from encampments under highways without providing any significant housing alternative other than scattering them through residential neighborhoods to live in 'trap houses,' three of which are located on my block in Vestal.

j.f.m.'s picture

What exactly is the purpose

What exactly is the purpose of the city providing electric scooters?

The city isn't providing anything except permission for the companies to operate. I believe the approach taken here was to try to work with the companies in hopes of establishing some rules and limits, rather than having to work things out after an invasion (which is what happened in Nashville and other places). The contract is along the same model as the one for rental bikes, which also provides permission for use of right of way.

michael kaplan's picture

The city collects sales tax

The city collects sales tax on the $10/hour rental, correct?

Alex_Falk's picture

hate to "both sides" an issue, but..

as someone who tourists in some unfamiliar cities with relatively flat terrain & earnestly enjoys recreationally endangering myself on two-wheeled vehicles, i have on occasion *really* had fun rental scooting!

as a resident of a hilly town with a small downtown/campus area, i don't really see the point & sympathize with the annoyance and safety issues. right now, kids may be "trying out" the new scooters but my guess is that the number of units deployed may drop after the initial 'curiousity' phase.

sobi's picture

I'm all for people...

...exercising their freedom to achieve brain injuries by falling unhelmed off of wheeled vehicles or colliding with others and/or immovable objects, however they choose to pursue that goal, as long as they pursue it in the street where that pursuit belongs, and not on the sidewalk, where it doesn't.

michael kaplan's picture


California Vehicle Code 21235 mandates that all scooter riders in California: 1) Have a valid driver license, 2) Ride on the road and remain off sidewalks, and 3) May not park scooters on a sidewalk in a position that blocks pedestrian paths.

michael kaplan's picture

Ft. Sanders tonight

May not park scooters on a sidewalk in a position that blocks pedestrian paths.


michael kaplan's picture

11th Street today


michael kaplan's picture

woman beaten with scooter

(CNN) A woman was attacked and beaten to death with an electric scooter as she was walking down a street in Long Beach, California, authorities said.

The woman, 63-year-old Rosa Elena Hernandez, lived in Long Beach, police said. A family member said she went by the name by Rosa Manjarrez.

Police said an attacker assaulted Manjarrez and, after a bystander tried to intervene, the man used a nearby Bird rental scooter as a weapon to continue assaulting her. Manjarrez suffered significant injuries to her upper torso and was declared dead at the scene.

bizgrrl's picture

Electric scooter rider in

Electric scooter rider in Nashville dies after crash with suv. It is reported he pulled out in front of the suv.

bizgrrl's picture

Nashville is in the process

Nashville is in the process of adding scooter "corrals" across the city in order to make sidewalks a little more walkable.

Mayor Briley has told the scooter companies if they do not make safety and accessibility changes by the end of June, he will ask the Metro Council to ban them across the city.

Heh. Nashville was pretty walkable, now they have to start again?

We were in downtown Knoxville from noon to about 2 PM Saturday. We saw four scooter riders, 2 on the sidewalk and 2 on the street. The riders on the street were actually around the Cumberland Avenue area at the UT campus. Saw quite a few scooters parked on the sidewalks.

jbr's picture

I kind of like the scooters

I kind of like the scooters idea. But am for some tweaking.

I saw a guy on Clinch riding one talking on his cell phone with his head trapping phone on his right shoulder. So both hands I handles, but looked like a bad idea talking on the cell phone.

Do the scooters have cell phone rules pertaining to when folks are riding the scooters?

I also saw a group of 3 riders riding in left hand lane heading east on Summitt Hill, clogging up traffic.

To me ... no sidewalks, no cell phone use while riding, no doubling (two riders on one scooter), stay in the right hand lane unless planning to turn left soon, observe all traffic rules.

I guess this is a grace period, but officers writing a few tickets seems like it would clear those things up quickly.

michael kaplan's picture

I predict that, after the

I predict that, after the lawsuits begin, they will be banned, or at least restricted to 'scooter parks' which cities will fund with revenue from sales tax.

jbr's picture

Electric scooters in Paris

It looks like Paris did not do much planning before they allowed scooters.

Paris has become home to nearly 20,000 e-scooters since their introduction just a year ago, with 12 companies operating scooter-sharing systems in the capital. The City of Paris has pointed to predictions that electric scooters could number 40,000 by 2020.

Electric scooter rider killed in Paris amid 'anarchy' claims

Knoxgal's picture

Scooters on the Sidewalk

Last night my husband dropped me off on Gay St so I could get a table at the restaurant where we were eating while he found a parking place. No fewer than 8 scooters passed me on the sidewalk during my half block walk. I politely told each one as they passed that it was illegal to ride on the sidewalk. A few got off and walked their scooters until they could access Gay St. Most ignored me.

bizgrrl's picture

Aren't they cute?!?! I'm sure

Aren't they cute?!?! I'm sure they'll start obeying the law/rules. The police will certainly write them tickets, won't they? /sarcasm

Knoxgal's picture

Scooter Maids (and Scooter Footmen?)

We need a new job category

michael kaplan's picture

i've never seen him/her, but

i've never seen him/her, but i assume someone goes around picking these up for recharging, then sets them in rows for rehire.

Knoxgal's picture

Someone to write up violations

I’m talking about city employees who could issue citations for violations, like riding on the sidewalk. I think KPD officers have more important things to do.

bizgrrl's picture

It was my impression the

It was my impression the companies hire people to do those things but maybe just once (twice?) a day.

michael kaplan's picture

gig economy workers, no doubt

gig economy workers, no doubt ....

The scooter-sharing companies rely on “an army of independent contractors” to locate scooters that need juice, charge them overnight and release them the next morning before 7 a.m

bizgrrl's picture

Of course. What else?

Of course. What else?

michael kaplan's picture

i'll bet they charge them at

i'll bet they charge them at their homes, too. what a primitive racket ... wonder how much pollutants are generated just by driving around looking for abandoned scooters.

jbr's picture

VeoRide swappable battery

VeoRide introduces world's only e-scooter with swappable battery

Spin has to recharge the scooter battery in the scooter, it seems

tlc's picture

Newly Discovered Beatles Song

"Lovely Rita, Scooter Maid."

xmd's picture

Here is one way they get

Here is one way they get picked up. Not sure for K'town though. (link...)

AC's picture

I've tried to hold back on

I've tried to hold back on commenting on this recently, partly because I've mostly been away during the past 6 weeks or so. But, true story:

On Sunday, June 2, I parked on Gay Street, the block next to the Gay Street Bridge, and went to my office to pick up some things. Coming back, I stepped onto the sidewalk to go to my car and barely avoided being hit - hard - by a scooter moving fast. I shouted, mostly in fright, but was ignored. In driving home, across the bridge and down Sevier, I encountered 3 scooter riders, mostly riding in the street, but swerving from lane to lane, sometimes hopping on the sidewalk and then back out into the road, laughing, having a great time, but more or less oblivious and making normal driving slower and more treacherous than normal. I picked up my wife and we headed to the grocery - but out of curiosity, decided to drive down Gay Street. We immediately encountered scooters. The first two - a man and woman - headed in the opposite direction from us, abruptly had to stop a traffic light, where the woman lost her balance and fell off the scooter. She didn't seem to hurt herself however. Then, a block or so later, we found ourselves behind 4 scooters, on the road mostly, but weaving in and out of empty parking areas on the side of the street. Having fun but, again, more or less oblivious to much around them. It was slow going but not the end of the world driving down Gay Street at 10-15 miles an hour on a nice afternoon. At one intersection, we saw two scooters moving fast down the sidewalk. As we continued down Gay Street, we counted another 6 - 8 scooters on the sidewalk and a couple more on the road. The next day, on the way to pick up a falafel salad at Yassin's, I was passed by two scooters on the sidewalk, both blissfully unaware. Later that evening, walking from my office to meet friends for dinner on Market Square, I encountered two scooter riders on the sidewalk, at the corner near the Hilton Garage. The woman had a child who appeared to be three or four and apparently had been holding onto her leg as they scooted along, but, when forced to come to a stop at the corner, the kid had apparently lost its grip and tumbled off the scooter onto the sidewalk. All witnessed by yours truly during only a handful of brief expeditions on the street in a period of less than 30 hours.

I've had other experiences too. Numerous sidewalk encounters. One on the Greenway near Ijams where 3 scooters came barreling around a curve.

There's no denying that the scooters are fun. But there's an alarming lack of common sense in analyzing the full implications of having them on our city streets.. There are flaws in the plan. A vehicle that travels 15 mph on the sidewalks is a danger to pedestrians. A vehicle that travels 15 mph on roads is a danger to itself primarily, but also a problem for cars, especially on roads outside of downtown.

On top of that, somehow enforcement of the laws has become a taxpayer expense and a role for the police...while those who are making money on the enterprise manage to elude liability and responsibility by simply posting or pasting a few rules and signs here and there. it might be tempting to address the injuries and potential fatalities resulting from scooters as Darwinism at work, except in cases of pedestrians who simply find themselves in the path. But this is a silly and unnecessary problem. We need some adult leadership here.

Andy Axel's picture

someone's going to have to die

and that's just what happened in nashville


michael kaplan's picture

what is the projected annual

what is the projected annual revenue for the city from scooter rentals?

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