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Electronic scooters do not just cause havoc in Auckland. As it is revealed in a new Bloomberg Podcast by former NZME journalist Olivia Carville, two-wheeled gadgets are also causing massive problems in the United States.

In one example, the street artist of Santa Monica, Davey Peterson, was taking care of his own business, and entertaining a small crowd of bewildered onlookers when a man on an e-scooter had erased it.

"While I was lying on the deck, I looked up and saw a young man with a disheveled beard looking at me from a Bird scooter," recalls Peterson at the Bloomberg podcast

"He looked at me and said" What the eff, friend "and then he left.

"So it was a success and to run."

Only later, on going to the emergency room, did Peterson realize how badly he had been hurt.

"I discovered that I had a broken arm and that my right bicep had been cut from the lower part of my arm, I had to have my biceps surgically attached to the lower part of my arm."

Peterson is one of the many horror stories that emerge from Santa Monica, often called "zero point" for the movement of the scooter.

The Bloomberg podcast reveals that citizens have had to accept exaggeration along with bloody consequences as the use of these scooters increases.

It is possible that scooters have recently landed in Auckland recently, but a similar trend is already beginning to take shape here with the number of ACC claims for scooter accidents already in excess of 30.

It has sparked a broad debate about the best way to regulate scooters and the rules that must be implemented to ensure the safety of pedestrians.

Some commentators have already predicted that someone will die in New Zealand due to the use of these scooters.

The demands of the United States begin to arrive

The worst has already happened in the United States, where three people, in Dallas, Cleveland and Washington DC, have lost their lives in motorcycle accidents.

And after growing up, an angry citizen is taking legal action.

A lawsuit aimed at electric scooter sharing companies addresses the dangers of traveling around the city on two wheels and brings a bloody detail to one of the most polarizing technological trends that will emerge in the last year.

Nine people injured by e-scooters filed the class action lawsuit on October 19 in the Superior Court of Los Angeles County. It accuses the startups Bird Rides and Lime, and their manufacturers Xiaomi and Segway, of gross negligence, claiming that the companies knew that the scooters were dangerous and deployed them in a way that would surely cause injuries.

Scooters have quickly become popular in Auckland. Photo / Archive.
Scooters have quickly become popular in Auckland. Photo / Archive.

Since the e-scooters arrived in the USA UU Last September with the arrival of Bird, hundreds of cyclists and pedestrians have landed at the hospital with injuries ranging from a severe rash to ripped teeth, toenails and biceps, according to doctors and experts. victims

There is no official count of the number of injuries related to the scooter in the country, since hospitals code their patients according to the type of injury with which they are admitted, instead of the cause. But one metric that Bird and Lime have been following closely is the number of attractions that have driven their scooters: more than 20 million combined and growing daily.

Electric scooters have appeared in more than 100 cities around the world with new companies that aim to usher in a new era of environmentally friendly microtransport. After a remarkable one year promotion, Bird and Lime are now two of the youngest startups to obtain unicorn status in Silicon Valley with ratings of US $ 2 billion and US $ 3 billion or more, respectively.

The rapid increase in the scooter revolution has been plagued by controversies, complaints and concussions. Citing fears about public safety, officials in some cities, such as San Francisco and Santa Monica, have temporarily banned electronic scooters and filed criminal complaints against the companies behind them for operating without a commercial permit. Some residents of frustrated guards have thrown scooters into the ocean, buried them in the sand and even burned them.

According to the lawsuit, two of the plaintiffs were injured when they hit the scooters left on the path, four were beaten from behind while walking, including a 7-year-old boy who suffered serious damage to eight of his forehead. Teeth and had to get his lip sewn back together. "These companies are making a profit on security," said Catherine Lerer, the personal injury attorney for McGee Lerer who represents the plaintiffs, in an interview for Bloomberg's Decrypted podcast.

Since filing the lawsuit, Lerer said 75 other people who have suffered injuries with a scooter have contacted her, including a 67-year-old man with a brain injury.

The citizens are paying for the convenience of the scooters with their blood. Photo / Bloomberg.
The citizens are paying for the convenience of the scooters with their blood. Photo / Bloomberg.

Bird and Lime say that safety is a priority. But from their perspective, cars are the real danger of transportation.

"The collective action lawyers with a real interest in improving transportation safety should focus on reducing the 40,000 deaths caused by cars each year in the United States," said a Bird spokesperson.

Lime said he could not comment on pending litigation, but in an interview on Bloomberg's Decrypted podcast, Taylor Bennett, director of public affairs, said Lime has improved its scooters with new safety features three times last year. The latest version has larger tires to deal with bumps, brakes on the rear wheel to prevent rider from falling on the handlebar and dual suspension. The company is also delivering 250,000 helmets to its brokers.

Wally Ghurabi, medical director of one of the emergency departments of the UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, ground zero for the scooter boom, said that plastic surgeons have spent hours cleaning the asphalt from facial injuries to avoid tattooing. rash.

"You can break your face, break your nose, break the bones of your face, break your skull and bleed inside your skull," Ghurabi said, indicating some of the risks of e-scooters.

In June, Víctor San Andrés was thrown by the handlebar of his e-scooter when the front brakes worked badly when he was sailing downhill. He remembers "flying through the air," but said that his mind had been erased from mercy the moment his face hit the pavement. He was unconscious and suffered severe facial lacerations, a broken little finger and a torn nail.

San Andres, an online video producer, was injured in New York, where scooter-sharing companies are not authorized to operate, but some people have personal e-scooters. San Andres received the free scooter in exchange for uploading positive promotional scooter videos online. He is not a signatory to the class action lawsuit.

– Bloomberg