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E-scooters: Kelowna’s top orthopedic surgeon issues warning, calls them ‘fracture machines’

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Kelowna’s top orthopedic surgeon continues to warn people about E-scooter safety – Jun 16, 2021

An Okanagan doctor continues to have scathing words for e-scooters.

“These devices are fracture machines,” Dr. Steven Krywulak told Global News.

“There’s a higher rate of trauma off these than we see with other recreational vehicles.”

READ MORE: Kelowna’s e-scooter program plagued by problems, says city councillor

The head of orthopedic surgery at Kelowna General Hospital says his recent experience with people injured in scooter accidents bears that out.

“After the May long weekend, I had seven e-scooter injuries show up to my fracture clinic,” said Krywulak.

It’s a problem that Krywulak thinks will only increase as more people start to using e-scooters.

“When summer hits and people are out drinking late in the evenings with warm summer nights, you are going to see a lot more activity on scooters, which is going to mean more trauma,” said Krywulak.

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So in an effort to reduce some of the problems associated with e-scooters, such as improper rider behaviour, all four of Kelowna’s e-scooter suppliers held a ‘safe scoot rider’ seminar on Wednesday.

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“We are looking to increase safety awareness and to provide some helmets, then we are going to some information on proper riding,” said Kyle Erickson, Lime operations manager for Canada.

As part of Kelowna city council’s new requirements, Lime, Roll, Zip and Bird are also expected to integrate cognitive test questions on their apps to help combat drunk operation.

Not only that but, for the first time, riders will now find their e-scooter’s speed governed.

“The original speed is 24 kilometres per hour and we are down to 13 (km/h) for first riders,” said Erickson.

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According to Dr. Krywulak, it’s a good start but he still wants everyone to be informed on e-scooter safety or the lack thereof.

“It’s going to have an effect and the decision-makers, as well as the general public, have to consider all the pros and cons of this new technology,” he said.

Kelowna’s micromobility providers say they will continue to hold safety seminars over the summer in order to make the program a success.

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