Australian study urged that safety helmets be made more widely available to e-scooter riders as 39 percent of them were not helmet compliant.
A University assessment of e-scooter usage and governance in Brisbane, Australia.
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Study finds nearly half of shared e-scooters being ridden illegally


In recent years e-scooters have become quite popular in cities around the globe with more than 11 e-scooter companies operating in over 100 cities in the United States. Researchers from the Queensland University of Technology, in Brisbane, Australia, observed travelers riding electric scooters (e-scooters) such as Bird and Lime scooters and bicycles in downtown Brisbane during peak commute times to better understand the riding behaviors of users.

The researchers observed 785 people riding e-scooters and 2,960 people riding bicycles. Of these, 90 percent of the e-scooter riders were riding shared e-scooters, from companies such as Bird and Lime, and nine percent of cyclists were riding shared bicycles.

In all, 45 percent, or nearly half, of e-scooter users were riding the scooters in violation of local Brisbane laws. The most common violation was not wearing a helmet, with 39 percent either not wearing a helmet or wearing one that was improperly fastened. Riders were also observed riding on the road or riding with a passenger.

Cyclists, even those using shared bikes, complied with the law at higher rates than e-scooter users; 81 percent of shared bike riders wore a helmet correctly.
Finally, privately owned and operated e-scooters had higher rates of compliance with rules and regulations. Only 10 percent of private e-scooters were in found to be in violation of law. Ninety-eight (98) percent of private bicyclists wore a helmet.

Lessons Learned

  • Current rules governing e-scooter usage may not be adequate to protect riders and reduce collision risks
  • The low rates of helmet compliance may indicate that people do have enough access to helmets when using shared e-scooters. Therefore, municipalities should work to ensure widespread helmet availability and work to enforce helmet laws if applicable.

Study finds nearly half of shared e-scooters being ridden illegally

Study finds nearly half of shared e-scooters being ridden illegally
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Queensland University of Technology

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