Surgeons warn of injury risks from Lime scooters

Surgeons are warning of the dangers of Lime scootersparticarly in the lead up to the Adelaide Festival, where a trialof the vehicles is set to begin.

The scooters, which have been a popular mode of transportfor only a short period of time since their launch, have resultedin an increase in significant injuries as a result of a faultywheel-locking mechanism, 2018 data has found.

A total of 88 injuries were recorded over two monthsacross three public hospitals in Brisbane. With 20-34 year-oldpatients accounting for 66 per cent of cases overall, and a genderbreakdown of 56 per cent male, 44 per cent female, 34 per centarrived at the ED by ambulance, and in 10 per cent of cases surgerywas required. Injuries have included head trauma, upper and lowerlimb fractures, sprained/strained limbs and seriouscontrusions/abrasions.

Chair of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons(RACS) Trauma Committee Dr John Crozier has said that publicawareness of the dangers associated with these vehicles is requiredand that legislative measures such as the mandatory use of helmets,safe speed limits and age restrictions are implemented.

“We also urge that the safety of pedestrians and otherroad users is considered in any future decisions regarding the useof scooters as we have seen that the injuries are not isolated toscooter users alone.

Riders who choose to use Lime scooters are responsible forobeying road rules like anyone else sharing the road, includingwearing a helmet and looking out for pedestrians,” hesaid.

Dr Matthew Hope, Orthopaedic surgeon and QLD Chair of theRACS Trauma Committee recommends that formal data collectionrelated to patterns of accidents and injuries is required to becompleted.

“Data has been collected in Brisbane for a short period inlate 2018 which showed a dramatic increase in injuries associatedwith personal mobility devices,” Dr Hope said, “I stronglyrecommend that data is collected in all other jurisdictions toadequately monitor the level and severity of injuries so thatlegislation around their use can be implemented.”

Earlier this week it was reported that Lime was put ‘onnotice’ after a spate of issues resulted in serious injuries toriders, with Brisbane City Council threatening to revoke thecompany’s permit to operate and hire scooters inBrisbane.

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