Electric scooters are a common sight in Calgary, plying the streets and cycle paths, but they pose a risk of injury.
Now there is a push to persuade runners to use helmets to prevent head injuries.
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Neuron Mobility launched in Calgary in June. The company has included a helmet with every scooter although they are not mandatory in Alberta.
“Every Neuron scooter comes with a helmet so that every rider has the option of unlocking the helmet before riding or during a ride and wearing their helmet,” said Ankush Karwal, Neuron Mobility’s regional director for Canada and manager steps.
“In a recent survey, we found that 53 percent of Canadians don’t know if wearing a helmet is legally required in their city or community. This suggests the increased need for biker training.
Neuron kicked off Helmet Safety Awareness Week on October 1. The company hosted a Scoot Safe event on Stephen Avenue in Calgary on Saturday to promote helmet use.
The Executive Director of the Southern Alberta Brain Injury Society recommends that helmets be worn on electric scooters and bicycles. Shane Rempel said more education is needed on the importance of wearing helmets in preventing brain damage.
“Your life can be drastically disrupted due to brain injury or even a concussion. It is not a short-term recovery. Often times this can last a lifetime, ”said Rempel.
“One free for all”
In Calgary, helmets are encouraged but not mandatory.
“Considering the speed of scooters and the fact that they are in traffic, wearing a helmet would be extremely important and a safe choice,” said Robyn Robertson, President and CEO of Traffic Injury Research Foundation.
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She said helmet legislation alone is not enough. Robertson said the rules must be combined with education and infrastructure like separate cycle lanes.
“The good news is that scooters are relatively new, and this is a great opportunity for industry and governments to set a safety standard for how this mobility option is deployed because, in the absence of of any type of structure or regulation or parameters, it is free for all. You don’t want that. It doesn’t promote safety, ”said Robertson.
“Legislation can be good, but not all of us are motivated by things like legislation. Some of us are motivated by what our peer group does. It influences our behavior much more than legislation, so it is very important to explain to people why it is important to wear a helmet.
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Bird Canada and Neuron Mobility were the selected operators to bring a combined fleet of 1,500 permanent scooters to Calgary’s roads this year.
According to a spokesperson for Bird Canada, the company distributes helmets at events focused on the use and safety of electric scooters and also sends free helmets to riders who request them through an app.
Calgary’s updated regulations allow electric scooters on bike lanes, trails, temporary adaptive lanes, quiet sidewalks, and quiet roads with low traffic volume.
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