As part of a campaign to reduce car traffic, more and more electric scooters are appearing in the region. While they can make things more convenient, they can also be dangerous.
Dr Ian Tang’s body is still healing after being knocked unconscious by a standing electric scooter driver two weeks ago. His arms, elbows and legs are marked with scabs and bruises.
“I feel violated,” he said. “It hurts to breathe deeply, but luckily I am not dead.”
It happened in Riverside Park, where electric scooters aren’t even allowed. But 7 On Your Side Investigates found it doesn’t stop people.
You can research electric scooter crashes – and the causes of those crashes – in your neighborhood here:
On the Hudson River Greenway, we counted two dozen electric scooters in just 20 minutes, although there are signs posted along the route prohibiting them.
They are allowed on bicycle lanes and on streets where the speed limit is 30 miles per hour or less.
“The reality is that everyone knows the law is not enforced,” Dr Tang said.
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Since 2020, there have been 588 electric scooter crashes in New York City, with a total of 538 people injured in those crashes and at least three pedestrians dead.
“These scooters are getting faster and more powerful, and everyone knows speed kills,” Dr Tang said.
Many fear it will only get worse, and next month the city will launch a pilot program in the Bronx.
Three different scooter companies will carpool electric scooters across the region, in the same way people can rent bikes.
If all goes well, they could be deployed throughout the city.
“People don’t need to use their cars,” said city councilor Fernando Cabrera, who helped make it happen. “It is an easy and environmentally friendly means of transport.
Cabrera believes this will help reduce traffic jams and offer people who are not near public transport or who do not have a vehicle a new way to get around.
“This is why this pilot program is so important in determining best practices,” he said.
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However, Dr. Sarah Jamison, an emergency physician at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, urges people to think twice before using one.
“It’s just extremely dangerous,” she said. “You absolutely should have a helmet. You have to protect your head because that’s where you see so many injuries and so many fatalities.”
ABC data reporter Frank Esposito contributed to this story.
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