July 30, 2019 7:54 pm

Concerns grow over Calgary e-scooter safety

Lime scooters have arrived in Calgary.

Global News

Calgary has seen an influx of scooters hit the streets the last few weeks, which overall has received positive reviews.

“It’s pretty fun. It’s my first time. I’ve been on it for about two to three minutes,” Philip Wong said Tuesday.

“It’s pretty easy once you get going; you just have to be careful with the throttle.”

READ MORE: ‘Hop on just for fun’: Lime electric scooters launched in Calgary

Among all the positive experiences, some people have raised concerns around the use of the scooters, especially with them being made available to anyone with a smartphone and a credit card.

“I’ve seen some scooters this morning with more than one person on, underage, and some don’t seem too confident as to their balance,” Dave Todd said while biking through Eau Claire. “I’m just a little worried there will be incidents.”

Those concerns aren’t unwarranted because there is some confusion around the rules of the program.

READ MORE: Lime recalls e-scooters from Waterloo pilot project

Some people who hop on for the first time are unsure of where they can ride the scooters.

The City of Calgary shows where you are allowed to ride e-scooters in the city. It’s an issue that has some concerned about the safety of riders.

Courtesy: City of Calgary

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“We haven’t seen anyone wearing a helmet at any time while riding the scooters and they get up to 20 km/h, which I think is pretty fast, so if they were to encounter a pedestrian or vehicle without a helmet, I would see that as kind of scary,” David Grant with Vermin Scooters said.

City officials said that those who break the rules will be held accountable.

“If they’re interfering with pedestrians on the sidewalk, bylaw and [the Calgary Police Service] can give tickets,” Nathan Carswell, the shared mobility program manager said. “Specifically to riding under the influence, that could be something CPS could and would ticket should they see that.”

READ MORE: Calgary and Edmonton targeted for dockless electric scooters in July

Riders would owe $25 if caught riding scooters on the street and would also be set back $150 if they interfere with pedestrians.

The pilot project will run until the end of October 2020, breaking during the winter months.

Following the 16-month pilot, the city will evaluate the impact of the scooter sharing program and decide if it should go forward.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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