Calgary

E-scooter speed could be regulated in certain high traffic areas next year

The general manager of transportation, Michael Thompson, says technology called geo-fence could regulate e-scooter speeds in specific high traffic areas next year.

City councillor Peter Demong asked administration Monday if there was a way to lower the speed limit

Bird and Lime scooters may be a safety hazard when driven too fast in high traffic areas. (Left: The Associated Press, right: Charles Contant/CBC)

Calgary's e-scooter speeds may be forced to slow down in certain high traffic areas by new technology come next year.

On Monday, City Councillor, Peter Demong, asked administration if there was a way to lower the speed limit.

The general manager of transportation, Michael Thompson, says that is under discussion — and technology could play a role.

"We're looking at what's called a geo-fence, so in some areas where there may be high congestion we could actually slow the speed down from the current 20 kilometres an hour," he said.

Since the launch of the pilot project this summer, the city says 130,000 people signed up for e-scooters, and they've covered almost one million kilometres.

There are a total of 1,500 e-scooters that are part of the city-wide pilot project and scooter safety is a concern for many.

Users can only ride e-scooters on sidewalks, pathways and bikeways, and not on city roads.

The two-wheeled devices made headlines earlier this summer for causing a spike in emergency room visits in Calgary for fractures and face and head injuries.

Thompson says they will look into the possibility of a geo-fence and approach the committee again in December with their findings.

With files from Scott Dippel

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