Beginning May 28, 2020, e-scooters have returned to Calgary following a 16-month pilot program. Bird Canada and Neuron Mobility have been awarded contracts to operate 750 scooters each.
Bird Canada, a Canadian owned and operated company, participated in the e-scooter pilot project and its Canadian operational headquarters are located in Calgary. Bird Canada’s new fleet of e-scooters have been upgraded and are now equipped with built-in bells and new tires that address concerns of safety, traction and stability.
Neuro Mobility, a company based in New Zealand and Australia, is launching its e-scooters in Calgary as one of the first cities in North America. These bright-orange e-scooters are equipped with the first ever app-controlled helmet lock. This ensures that a safety helmet is available for every rental Neuro Mobility e-scooter.
According to Councillor Evan Woolley:
Calgarians love e-scooters – we were the first Canadian city to record one million rides and we continue to see demand for this type of micro-mobility. …
As businesses begin to open up and Calgarians continue to look for ways to safely enjoy the outdoors, e-scooters will be a big part of that.
According to the rules governing e-scooters in Calagary, only individuals 18 years and older can ride these devices. It is also prohibited to have more than one person on a scooter at a time. Violation of the rules of operating the scooters can subject you to a fine from a peace officer of Calgary police officer.
E-scooters are only to be operated on sidewalks, pathways, bike lanes, temporary adaptive lanes and some roads with lower speeds. These devices are not permitted on busy roadways and it is recommended that busy sidewalks are to be avoided as well.
CHANGES INTRODUCED TO THE OPERATION OF E-SCOOTERS IN 2021
This year, all e-scooters will include a visible and unique identification number to allow for easier reporting of improperly parked vehicles. Individuals who rent the e-scooters and fail to park them appropriately will be subject to $10 fines by the scooter companies. Those that receive three fines will be prohibited from using the app, which allows you to rent the electronic vehicles.
Another change to the operation of e-scooters for 2021 is that only 1500 e-scooters will be operating in Calgary in an effort to reduce parking and sidewalk disarray.
E-scooters are now permitted on quiet roadways with lower traffic volume and higher sidewalk concentrations. On these streets the maximum speeds are set at 15km/h, not 20km/h. These slow speed zones include 4 Street S.W. in Mission, 9 Avenue S.E. in Inglewood, 8 Avenue S.W. in the downtown core and along 10 Street N.W. and Kensington Road in Kensington.
Both Bird Canada and Neuron will be monitoring their customers’ behaviour using data collected by the scooters and their apps. They will be awarding free credits for those exhibiting safe and proper use of their devices, including taking selfies while wearing a helmet and parking in correct parking zones.
Another change announced is that e-scooters will be allowed to operate year-round. Bird Canada and Neuron will be asked by Calgary’s transportation department to remove the scooters during major snowstorms, but will be allowed to re-distribute the scooters on warmer and drier days during the winter.
SAFETY CONCERNS SURROUNDING E-SCOOTERS
E-scooters are inherently more dangerous than other motor vehicles as they are lighter and smaller than anything else on the road and like motorcycles, they offer little protection to the rider. They are also less stable and more vulnerable to potholes and cracks.
These motorized vehicles may also be more difficult for motorists to spot, especially when drivers are distracted, impaired, aggressive or otherwise negligent. An accident involving a motorist and an e-scooter is a dangerous accident and will likely result in the scooter rider being seriously injured.
There are generally three types of accidents that may lead to an e-scooter injury claim, as follows:
- A negligent e-scooter rider collides with another individual, such as a pedestrian, bike rider or another e-scooter rider;
- A negligent motor vehicle driver, motorcycle rider or bike rider collides with an e-scooter; or
- An e-scooter rider crashes due to causes such as a defective scooter, cracked street or sidewalk or a misplaced object.
The impact of an accident involving an e-scooter and a motorist can result in a variety of serious injuries, which may include:
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Broken bones; and/or
- Deep cuts and abrasions.
If you have sustained a serious injury following an e-scooter accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to the following damages:
- Medical Costs (i.e. emergency care and transportation, surgery, treatment from doctors and specialists, physical therapy, prescription medication, adaptive physical devices, home health care etc.);
- Lost Wages and/or Diminished Earning Potential; and/or
- Pain and Suffering
If you or a loved one have suffered serious personal injuries as a result of an accident and believe a third party is responsible, please contact the award winning and experienced lawyers at Cuming & Gillespie LLP online or call 403-571-0555. Cuming & Gillespie LLP have many years of successfully handling claims for those victims injured through the fault of others. We will review your case to determine the best approach to take and how we can help you recover compensation for your injuries. Call our office today for a free consultation.