Those electric scooters that are all over San Antonio may look like fun, but taking a ride is turning out to be a dangerous proposition, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
A new study done by Consumer Reports found that, nationwide, there have been more than 1,500 accidents and four deaths linked to scooters since 2017.
"To better clarify how many scooter riders have been injured, Consumer Reports contacted 110 hospitals and five agencies in 47 cities where at least one of the two biggest scooter companies, Bird or Lime, operates. Consumer Reports asked how many patients they’ve treated for scooter-related injuries, and if they have the capability to track the injuries."
In San Antonio, the fire department has responded to 91 injuries since just September, but there may be more because riders who fall may not call EMS, instead choosing to go to the hospital or a clinic on their own. John Jacks, who heads Center City Development, says the city is about half way through a trial period, and they're still tracking trends involving scooter accidents.
"Is it rider error? Are they happening at night after its dark? Maybe it's harder to see the road surface."
The scooters remain highly popular in San Antonio. In December alone there were more than 300,000 rides.
"We're hoping that over time people will get more accustomed to them and there will be less injures," Jacks says.
Next week, City Council will again be looking at scooter regulations. There will be a moratorium on permits and hours of operation will be limited to the time from six in the morning to ten at night. Jacks says they're also looking at requiring scooter companies to remove vehicles from some locations because, at night, they are blocking areas that get pressure washed.
Further down the line, there may be designated parking zones for scooters.
"Imagine if you went to the grocery stores and spaces are not marked. Everybody parked haphazardly everywhere. It gives people the opportunity to make a good decision."
Even though scooters are banned from the Riverwalk, Jacks says they have found them ditched in the shallow parts, and assume that means there will be more in the main channel.