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Wichita Falls Clears Path for Downtown E-Scooters

Girlfriends riding e-scooters in the city

Wichita Falls Electronic Scooter Accident Attorneys Discuss the City's New Bylaw

Wichita Falls is about to get in on an urban transportation trend that can be fun and affordable.

This option, however, has its risks too. The brunt of those risks is often felt by e-scooter accident victims, such as pedestrians, cyclists, and the scooter operators themselves.

With speeds up to 30 mph, e-scooters can result in concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBI), spinal cord injuries, fractured and broken bones, facial injuries, knee injuries, and leg injuries in the event of a crash.

In February 2022, the Wichita Falls City Council approved the use of e-scooters in a designated central business district downtown. A local businessman who owns WF Goat Scooter LLC says he will apply for a city e-scooter permit to install charging kiosks and 20 e-scooters in the district.

E-bikes and e-scooters are a growing mode of cheap transportation in big cities with strained transportation options. After registering for the service, users can typically rent scooters at an hourly, half-day, or daily rate. They can be returned at any participating kiosk.

Wichita Falls e-scooter laws

E-scooters started popping up in major metros years ago before policymakers had a chance to regulate them. They are significantly larger than traditional kick scooters and can go much faster. This means that they can also cause severe injuries and in some cases, death.

Now, some cities require people to register e-scooters with the local clerk, set speed limits for the vehicles, mandate safety helmet use, and/or require a license to operate.

Wichita Falls City Councilors drafted the new ordinance with the goal of incorporating lessons learned from other communities' e-scooter experiences. Policymakers put a priority on legislative flexibility.

The Wichita Falls e-scooter bylaw says that the city can set restrictions on where the equipment can be used, hours of use, permit renewal terms, and officials may request company data for decision-making purposes. The city can revoke the permit due to poor customer service, posing an unreasonable risk to public health and safety, or if the business has a history of violating requirements.

Furthermore, the bylaw sets parking restrictions and leaves space for intoxicated or impaired operators to be charged with driving under the influence (DUI).

Injuries are common in e-scooter accidents

E-scooters and e-bikes are newer modes of transportation in major cities that are just now being studied. Nationwide, the number of e-transportation injuries treated in hospitals has about tripled every year since 2008, according to a Rutgers University study. Published in 2019, researchers say there were about 32,000 e-scooter injuries treated that year.

Rutgers also conducted research on e-scooter injuries. It turns out common injuries include damage to the face and head. Other study highlights include:

  • Most of the people injured were men between the ages of 19 and 65.
  • About one-third of the injured males were children between the ages of 6 and 12.
  • Closed head injuries like concussions, brain bleeding, and bruising were among the most common injuries followed by facial cuts and abrasions.
  • About 5 percent of injuries treated were bone fractures, mostly to the skull or nose.
  • About 66 percent of those injured were not wearing helmets.
  • Helmet use increases with age. Almost 20 percent of toddlers wore helmets while 67 percent of seniors donned the safety equipment.

We stand up for crash victims in Wichita Falls

Accident victims deserve compensation for their losses, but the process of recovering the compensation you deserve can be difficult without an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side.

If you were injured in a Wichita Falls-Lawton area accident, contact Hoover Rogers Law, LLP for a free injury case consultation. At no cost to you, a member of our team will listen to the details of your accident, answer your questions, and help you weigh your legal options.

Our attorneys are ready to hear from you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

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