COMMENT

We kind of went scooter beserk when e-scooters first arrived didn't we?

They were the novelty we just couldn't get over, or seemingly stay on, given the number of injuries reported.

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We heard a lot about ACC claims, we had the arguments back and forward about which council was going to do what to police them and wrap some rules around them. We had debates over speed limits and helmets, and discussions around which companies were more reliable than others.

And then everything went quiet for a while. But now they're back in the news.. with guess what? Injuries.

New ACC figures are out, and guess what? They're up.

ACC is reporting that, "November saw an increase in e-scooter injuries.. with 219 new claims - or 27 more - than the previous month."

Do you know how much ACC has paid out in e-scooter injuries since Lime launched in October 2018? Try $5.3 million.

In 14 months, it's apparently dealt with 3850 e-scooter claims. And that's just ACC.

According to one report, a study found in Auckland Hospital alone, "'e-scooter-related acute surgery costs were $360,000."

They say that e-scooters cause more serious harm than motorbikes.

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So why are we not getting the safety message on these?

Two hundred new injuries a month makes the cost for ACC around $500,000 a month. And who picks up that tab? You and me, the taxpayer.

Yes, councils have put in rules here and there around speed limits and curfews but they can't control whether you wear a helmet or not, and they can't control where you drive it.

If a rider is going to plough down a busy street into pedestrians, no one's really policing that.

Kate Hawkesby. File photo/ Michael Craig
Kate Hawkesby. File photo/ Michael Craig

So what's the Government doing about it, you may ask? Well, according to one report, "It was July last year when Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter... first said the Government would consult on an update to our laws around micro-mobility transport. Supposedly, before the end of 2019."

According to the Herald, when they approached her this month, she said.. "a discussion paper would go to cabinet 'soon'. It would be followed by public discussion."

So in the time this all takes to sort out, and the clock is ticking Julie Anne, what have we got?

A giant bill for taxpayers, that seems to only be increasing.