The cities of Virginia Beach and Norfolk have both fallen prey to the growing trend of e-scooters and officials are starting to notice the effects of having them littered all over the cities.
Both Lime and Bird scooters are simple to operate and require an app to use, but beyond that there is no specific safeguards keeping people from falling off the scooter or colliding with another scooter rider or vehicle.
While the Virginia Beach and Norfolk police departments, and Sentara officials have seen incidences and injuries related to the scooter trend, no one seems to be tracking them.
“Unfortunately, our data system does not record the cause of all injury types, and ‘electric scooter’ is not a category in our hospital’s data system, so we cannot give you hard data on how many of these injuries we have seen,” said Kelly McCarthy, spokeswoman for Sentara.
She does note at both Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital there has been an increase in the number of electric scooter-related injuries.
Dr. Richard Myers, Sentara Orthopedic Trauma surgeon, said he’s been treating an increased number of patients with scooter injuries but no hard data is available.
“The majority of injuries Dr. Myers has been treating in the orthopedic trauma department has been fractures to the wrist, ankle, and knee injuries. Many of these injuries have also been neurological, meaning brain-related injuries due to not wearing a helmet,”McCarthy said.
Both Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital’s trauma departments are in the process of looking into ways to accurately track those types of injuries, she said.
The police departments of both cities are not formally tracking incidents related to e-scooters either and so far there are no plans to track e-scooter related injuries.
“The only way we would track scooter activity would be if they were involved in an accident with a motor vehicle,” said Virginia Beach Police spokeswoman Linda Kuehn.
In Norfolk, calls for service and crashes involving Lime scooters are received and created as any other report where any type of scooter is involved, said Daniel Hudson, public information officer for Norfolk.
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