Hoboken’s Introduction of E-Scooters Raises Safety Concerns

Posted September 10th, 2019 by .

Categories: E-scooter, Legal Topics.

e-scooters

Hoboken appears to be the first New Jersey municipality to give e-scooters a trial run. In a city with significant traffic and parking concerns, motorized scooters sound like a perfect mode of transportation. But, are they safe?

Hudson County Attorney Anthony Carbone has already investigated the issue. “From what I understand, Nashville just banned e-scooters from their streets,” he said. “It seems they just experienced their first scooter-related death.”

As it turns out, police reported that the Nashville fatal injury victim was extremely intoxicated when he was hit by a car. Authorities blame the accident on the scooter rider.

“People who decide to use e-scooters need to follow the same rules of the road as other drivers,” said Attorney Carbone. “Obviously, driving under the influence is one problem.  Distracted driving is another.”

Meanwhile, Carbone is quick to point out that the risk factor with electric scooters primarily comes from the carelessness of other motor vehicle operators.  “Some drivers just don’t pay much attention or get confused when they come across scooter riders.”

The problem is that accidents involving electric scooters often result in serious injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),  one study showed that nearly 20% of 100,000 users suffered some kind of harm during their ride. 

“I reviewed the data and was alarmed at other parts of its findings,” shared Carbone. “At least half of the scooter riders suffered head trauma.”

Carbone has practiced personal injury law for over thirty years in Jersey City, right across from the Hudson County Courthouse. He says he suspects that electric scooters are an overwhelming threat when it comes to safety issues.

“Drivers of cars and SUVs already have difficulties with bicycles and motorcycles,” he pointed out. “Electric scooters come somewhere in-between.”

Two companies, Lime and OJO, rent out the motorized scooters in Hoboken. The on-going trial permitting their use ends on November 20th.  Last month, the Hoboken City Council voted against placing a referendum on the ballot as far as continued e-scooter operation in the city.

News reports suggest that some council members think the election is too far away when it comes to waiting to address safety and enforcement concerns. They feel the issues require more immediate attention.

“All I know is that accidental injuries can be life-changing,” Carbone. “Victims not only need medical treatment but a means of paying for it.  I help them through the claims process and assist them in determining whether they’re entitled to money damages.

The Law Offices of Anthony Carbone are located at 12 Oakland Avenue in Jersey City. Carbone can be reached directly at  201 963-6000.

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