Calgary

E-scooter riders flout rules as Calgary pilot program catches on

It might be really temping to double up, or let your kids try out one of the electric scooters that are all over Calgary, but just — don’t.

'Just like a bicycle, would you put two people on a bicycle? Not too often'

Calgary accessibility advocates say they're concerned that some e-scooter riders are parking them where they're in the way of people with mobility challenges. (Lime)

It might be really temping to double up, or let your kids try out one of the electric scooters that are all over Calgary, but just — don't.

Lime rolled out its e-scooters in Calgary two weeks ago, and now Bird Canada's fleet has hit the streets. And it seems riders are taking liberty with the rules.

Calgarians are scooting two-to-a-machine, and lots of kids have been taking them for a spin.

It looks like a lot of fun, but both are against the rules. City regulations say riders must be 18 years old, and both companies allow only one rider at a time.

Nathan Carswell, a transportation engineer with the city, says the plan is to try education before fines. But rules are rules.

"If we find kids are using these and we're seeing this throughout, we could look at providing more education out there as well as working with the companies to ticket," he said.

"I don't want to use the word punishment, but enforce that 18 and over — as part of a customer sign-up, they agree to all the terms and conditions."

The province classifies e-scooters as prohibited miniature vehicles that can be used only on private property. However, the City of Calgary has permission to run a shared e-scooter pilot project until October 2020.

Users can ride only on sidewalks, on pathways and in bike lanes. It is illegal to ride them on city roads.

Carswell says the city isn't set on the minimum age, though, in the long term.

Bird Canada CEO Stewart Lyons says people just need to be responsible.

"Just like a bicycle, would you put two people on a bicycle? Not too often, right?"

Last week, CBC News reported that Calgary emergency rooms had seen 60 patients with e-scooter-related injuries so far, out of 70,000 trips.

About a third of them were fractures and roughly 10 per cent were injuries to the face and head.

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