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Opinion: E-scooters pose a threat

Two Bird scooter users ride down the Washington Boulevard sidewalk. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

I firmly believe that e-scooters pose a significant threat to people, due to safety matters and hazards around L.A. that are not being noticed  by city officials.

According to an NPR article called “As E-Scooters Roll Into American Cities, So Do Safety Concerns,” a 32-year-old woman who remained nameless stated “one of our friends almost just got run over, the brake lights on them don’t work.” This serves to prove the safety hazards that e-scooters pose, having no functioning brake lights on scooters can be a significant problem.

In an LA Times article, “Birds scooter- so much fun, so damn dangerous,” a woman named Sharona Kaplan shared her story in how she “swerved to avoid a toddler who had run in front of her Bird on the beachside bike path in Santa Monica. Kaplan fell forward, breaking both bones in her right arm. Three days later, a surgeon put plates and pins in her arm.”

E-scooters have instant acceleration and instant torque due to the electric powered motor. This means that you can’t really choose the speed at which you travel. If the e-scooters were manipulated in a way in which riders could choose the speed, then many people would be safer, and many crashes could have been and be prevented.

According to the LA Times article “Pedestrian deaths surge in L.A, overall traffic fatalities down slightly,” “In 2015, 74 people on foot were killed by drivers in Los Angeles. That figure rose to 134 in 2017, the highest number in more than 15 years.”

If this many people are being killed just by walking on foot by crossing intersections and reckless drivers crashing into them, then think about the number increasing thanks to reckless scooter drivers who are going about 15 miles per hour. This new e-scooter crisis could be fatal for many more people.

Overall, the e-scooter poses significant dangers bringing up the many safety measures needed to take and hazards needed to consider to make  this electric scooter a bit more efficient and less dangerous.

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