People rushed into emergency departments in e-scooter incidents

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Concern has grown over e-scooters since their launch in September around Canberra.

ONE electronic scooter incident every two days is resulting in hospitalisation.

The new devices that were unleashed onto the footpaths of Canberra in September have seen more than 60 people injured so seriously they needed to be treated at an emergency department.

The data from Canberra Health Services has highlighted the dangers of the e-scooters where anecdotal evidence suggest that a number of the incidents occurred involving alcohol.

Police were also believed to attend emergency departments at Canberra’s two hospitals to conduct breathalyser tests on some of the admissions.

The data collection does not suggest the cause but the type of injury or illness.

Prof Drew Richardson, a senior staff specialist in emergency medicine, reviewed emergency department information at Canberra Hospital in mid-November to better understand the extent of patient presentations relating to escooters.

He said more than 50 people presented with injuries associated with escooters.

A nurse assessment for the escooters at Calvary Public Hospital showed an additional seven presentations at its emergency department.

The stark numbers has forced Canberra’s top road cop to issue a warning relating to safety after many of the accidents.

The speed limit for e-scooters while riding on a shared path or bike path is 25km/h, but reduced to 15km/h for footpaths and down to 10km/h when using a crossing.

Insp Marcus Boorman said e-scooters are not permitted on the roads or on-road bicycle lanes – except on residential streets where there is no footpath.

E-scooters are also not permitted along the light rail corridor while riders also cannot carry a passenger.

“I recommend riders review the rules before using the e-scooters,” Insp Boorman said.

“If we see you doing the wrong thing, you can be fined, and the fine is $153 for each offence.

“Riders must wear a helmet when using the scooters; we are seeing too many persons being admitted to hospital with injuries from crashing the e-scooters.”

There are about 1500 devices available in central Canberra and around Belconnen town centre after 750 were initially launched as part of the trial scheme in September.

Children under 12 years of age must be supervised by an adult when using an e-scooter.

E-scooters are $1 to unlock and are costed at 38 cents per minute.

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