RCMP issue e-scooter safety statement after investigating over 100 files

RCMP issue scooter warning

As the clock ticks down on the final year of the e-scooter pilot project in select communities in the province like Kelowna, police continue their educational efforts.

"E-scooters and e-bikes provide convenient options for transportation in Kelowna; however, ensuring everyone's safety hinges on users' knowledge, understanding, and adherence to the rules," said Const. Mike Della-Paolera, in a news release on Friday.

When the scooters were first introduced in 2021 Kelowna General Hospital's chief of orthopedic surgery Dr. Steven Krywulak called them, "fracture machines."

RCMP tells Castanet they have had 110 police files related to e-scooters since July 1.

The City of Kelowna was chosen as one of eight cities to take part in a three-year electric scooter pilot project initiated by the province of British Columbia.

The program has been in place since 2021, allowing people to legally ride e-scooters on specific municipal streets and paved pathways, provided they follow the rules of the road.

"E-scooters should be ridden in Kelowna following the same rules as bicycles. This means no riding on sidewalks; stick to the streets, bike lanes, and multi-use pathways," says Const. Della-Paolera.

Key provincial regulations for e-scooter operators include:

  • You must be 16 years or older.
  • When renting an e-scooter, you must be 18 years old.
  • Wearing a helmet is mandatory.
  • No consumption of drugs or alcohol while operating an electric kick scooter; impaired operation is illegal.
  • Riding alone is a must; no passengers are allowed, including towing another person, vehicle, cycle, or device, including another electric kick scooter.
  • E-scooters are not allowed in City Park and along the downtown waterfront, and they cannot be ridden downtown after 10:30 pm.

Anyone not following the rules can be fined up to $2,000.

Dr. Krywulak described the typical crash victim as between 14 and 30 years old. The most common injuries were to the ankle, wrist or collarbone.

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