ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR News) – It’s been nearly a month since Roanoke allowed Lime scooters to hit the streets, but so far they have mixed reviews.
A surgeon with Carilion Clinic says they’ve seen an increase in traumatic injuries because of the scooters. Now, the hospital is giving tips to help keep riders safe.
Some riders have seen some traumatic injuries so the surgeon wants people to know that with convenience comes responsibility.
“I like them, they get me around where I need to go. It’s a lot better than a bike,” said Isaiah Rece.
Rece says he rides a lime Scooter just about every day. He takes one to work downtown because he doesn’t drive.
“I think it’s fantastic. I think we needed something like this in this area other than the valley metro because it takes a lot longer for me to catch the bus from where I’m at than it does when I rent this,” said Rece.
Ed Mcgee agrees that they’ve been a good addition to the city.
“Oh, I like it. It’s a quick way to get downtown,” Mcgee said.
He says they come with responsibility.
“Hopefully everyone is going to be safe with them. I can see how somebody could get in trouble by not following the rules. It’s still a vehicle and you have to follow the rules,” said Mcgee.
Carilion Trauma Surgeon Dr. Jake Gillen says they’ve already seen a little bit of an influx of trauma patients come in because of scooter accidents.
“I think the scooters are unique that you don’t necessarily think of the safety part when you see them. They look like something that’s fun and when you see them you just want to hop on,” said Dr. Gillen.
“There’s a lot of broken bones. The bad ones are traumatic brain injuries and skull fractures and things of that nature where potentially people are going to have long term effects and problems related to these injuries.”
He says one of the easiest ways people can keep safe is by taking simple precautions like wearing a helmet.
“I think when you’re on a scooter with no helmet, you’re very exposed in the middle of traffic, just like when you’re on a bike, if you get hit by a car or you fall, there’s not really much to protect you,” Dr. Gillen said.
He says being aware of your surroundings, being alert, and not riding while impaired will go a long way in staying safe.
A representative from the City of Roanoke says scooter use is starting to spread beyond downtown to other neighborhoods in the city. People are reminded not to ride them on the sidewalks but in bike lanes or the roadways. He says Bolt scooter will also be coming soon.
Roanoke police say they’ve been focusing on education and learning the rules about scooters. They plan on doing a Facebook live next week to inform citizens on the proper ways to ride. After that will start getting stricter with citations.