The City of Edmond, Oklahoma, has signed a contract with a scooter company and as of today, August 5th, 2019, citizens can ride one in the street. You have to be eighteen years old, have a credit card, and follow the rules of the road. The assigned areas of riding include downtown, along Broadway to SE 15th, over to Bryant, up to Danforth, and over to Bryant. This includes the downtown and the campus of the University of Central Oklahoma. The campus of UCO will allow riders on their sidewalks.
As of a spot inspection this afternoon, I observed scooters for “hire” on two intersections on Broadway, north of the center of the city at 2nd and Broadway. No other sites checked had the machines. As for viewing riders, I found one that was at the corner of University and 2nd. I would have filmed him but he got away from me so no video.
With these scooters now roaming the streets of Edmond and not the sidewalks, the safety of those using these scooters becomes an issue. Various cities in the US have different rules, some allowing riders without an age limit; some on sidewalks not streets; some both sidewalks and streets. Edmond does not require a helmet, but riding with someone else is not allowed. Deaths and injuries have become an issue in many places where broken bones and head wounds are common. Death is also a possibility as in any activity that has an individual dodging cars and trucks that can go 40 mph on a street that will share a scooter with. Scooters top speed is approximately 15 mph but faster going downhill.
Just three weeks ago, YOUTUBE star Emily Hartridge was killed in London as she rode her scooter in a neighborhood and suffering head injuries as she was hit by a truck. One the same day in that English city, another rider suffered death from being run over.
As Edmond tries this new form of individual transportation, let us have hope that the injury count and deaths are not significant. Edmond has put the citizens, the drivers, and the city at risk. One that will be owned by those in city government that see dollar signs over despair, pain, and death.
All Pictures: Copyright Fred Pahlke 2019
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