Safety Officials Keeping An Eye On Growing Electric Scooter Usage Across Valley

With shareable electric scooters having become popular throughout metro Phoenix streets, government officials are looking at related safety concerns.

According to CNBC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is looking into the rise of injuries related to the scooters, which can be rented through phone apps.

In the Valley, the devices are operated by ride-sharing companies that include Lime, Bird, Lyft, Uber and Razor.

In Tempe, where the scooters are popular with the Arizona State University population, the devices are seen as a good way to get around town, even if there are potential risks.

“We do feel like this really is a good mode of transportation because of the construction and all the traffic we do see,” said Andrea Glass of Tempe Fire Department. “We typically see anywhere from 25 to 30 e-scooter injuries a month, averaging about one call a day.”

As of late, there has been an increasing trend of accidents being the result of impaired scooter operators.

“About 22 percent of our scooter incidents have drugs or alcohol related to them,” Glass said.

Tempe police confirmed that the city’s first DUI case was underway for someone operating an electric scooter under the influence.

Safety officials want everyone to be aware of scooter riders, whether it’s fellow scooter riders, bike riders or drivers.

“These scooters can travel up to 20 MPH, so they do come up pretty fast,” she said. “We do encourage riders to wear helmets.”

After the City of Tempe instituted strict licensing regulations and pricey fees, some companies elected to remove their scooters form the area.