Three e-scooter companies host safety event in Kelowna

E-scooter safety rolls out

In response to growing concerns surrounding e-scooter safety, three of the four companies operating scooters in Kelowna offered a safety training event on Wednesday.

The event, in partnership with BrainTrust Canada, offered scooter riders both new and experienced a chance to speak with members of Lime, Bird and Roll about overall scooter safety. Things like how to properly wear a helmet, where the safest places to ride are, and how to operate a scooter were demonstrated. Turnout from the public for the event was sparse.

CEO of BrainTrust Canada Mia Burgess is urging everyone to wear a helmet when using an e-scooter.

“I actually reached out to the city after just having seen people not wearing helmets, as well as the scooter companies and offered to send some staff here today to do some helmet fitting and safety education,” said Burgess. “Really, we just want people to walk away knowing how to properly fit a helmet, properly wear a helmet, and actually then follow through in any mode of active transportation.”

Helmets were handed out free of charge to all participants on Wednesday to go along with free scooter rides for the duration of the three-hour event.

Scooter companies have been under pressure to improve safety in the wake of comments made by KGH chief of orthopedic surgery Dr. Steven Krywulak, who called them "fracture machines."

Operations Manager of Lime Canada, Kyle Erickson, says he wants to increase the awareness of riders in Kelowna. “We know that the helmet law is important and we want to make sure the people have them available, so we also have those here. We’re going to get everyone fitted, and feeling safe on the roads.”

All four scooter companies have been actively working with the city to boost safety, including lowering the speed limit to all first rides to 13 kilometres an hour, requiring riders to pledge sobriety, handing out tickets for riders who are non-compliant and bumping up resources for enforcement and re-parking of misplaced scooters.

“Safety is the key to any successful scooter share program and our First Ride training courses have taught thousands of riders in cities all over the world how to ride safely,” said Jonanthan Hopkins, director of strategic development and government relations at Lime Canada.

The next scooter safety event has yet to confirm a date, but one representative from Lime Castanet spoke with expects it to be in a couple weeks.

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