Dangerous or fun? Wake EMS has responded to 22 e-scooter crashes since July

— As made clear by the company‘s name, Bird scooters fly through downtown Raleigh‘s streets.

“They are fast. They are super-fast,” said Jason Cooper.

Cooper said he rides the electric scooters in downtown Raleigh every weekend.

“I personally think they are the most convenient thing we have out there,” he said.

But convenience can come at a price.

“As a paramedic, when you see speed like that, you know that it‘s dangerous,” said Jeff Hammerstein, Wake County EMS assistant chief.

Hammerstein said people have been seriously hurt while on the scooters.

“People don‘t necessarily understand that a simple fall, a low-speed incident and fall to the ground on concrete or stones, can cause a very serious or life-threatening injury,” he said.

Hammerstein says his EMS crews have responded to at least 22 serious crashes since the scooters hit the streets in July.

This last weekend alone, there were two serious crashes. One involved a young boy.

Shyann Newsome said she had a friend who flipped over on one, and she herself had an accident in the rain.

“[I was] driving on the street, and it was wet and raining. The wheels slipped in a little puddle, and I fell,” she said.

Riders agree to wear a helmet when they sign up to ride a scooter, but many do not. Riders are also not allowed to double up.

Anyone who uses the scooters should be over the age of 18, but WRAL News crews saw children riding the scooters.

Bird initially deployed approximately 150 dockless scooters in downtown Raleigh, the Glenwood South area and around Cameron Village, but the Bird fleet has now grown to more than 1,100 scooters all over the city.

Raleigh city leaders are considering tightening the restrictions. A task force prepared a set of regulations for scooter licensing and operations that will be presented Tuesday night at the City Council meeting.