The number of ACC claims for e-scooter related injuries has almost tripled in the past week with a total of 38 claims since the scooters launched in New Zealand.

The number of claims has risen by 24 since last Wednesday, when the Herald reported there had been 14 claims since the October 15 launch in Auckland and Christchurch.

Twenty-seven of the now 38 claims have come from users in Auckland with the rest in Christchurch.

READ MORE:
Kate Hawkesby: Kiss goodbye to the e-scooter craze

Advertisement

When broken down by primary injury, a total of 15 claims are recorded as a laceration, puncture or sting, while 12 were soft tissue injuries. In addition, about four claims involved concussion or brain injury.

The figures come as 500 more e-scooters were launched in Auckland today, and more are set to hit the streets next month.

Wave Scooters was the second of three companies to launch their electronic scooters in the city today.

Bike-share company Onzo will also roll out 500 e-scooters in Auckland in November.

Lime was the first company to unleash its scooters, with 600 scooters distributed across Auckland and 400 in Christchurch on October 15.

The launch of the vehicles in New Zealand has resulted in a blur of reported injuries and talk of safety concerns, including people using them dangerously and leaving them in unsafe places.

Twenty-seven of the now 38 claims have come from users in Auckland with the rest in Christchurch. Photo / File
Twenty-seven of the now 38 claims have come from users in Auckland with the rest in Christchurch. Photo / File

Currently e-scooter riders are allowed to ride without helmets and share the footpath with pedestrians despite travelling at up to 27km/h.

However, users of the Lime e-scooters must be over 18 and hold a valid driver's licence.

Advertisement

While minors may use Lime's e-bikes, they must be over 16 and only a parent or guardian can book it for them.

Workplace safety campaigner and early-stage investment fund manager Lance Wiggs earlier told the Herald "someone is going to die" if a number of changes to the road rules weren't made.

Veteran motoring writer Clive Matthew-Wilson also predicted multiple injuries and probable deaths in the near future.

"E-scooter riders are allowed to ride without helmets and share the footpath with vulnerable pedestrians, such as old people and young children. Inevitably there are going to be horrific collisions," he said.

The Blind Foundation has also expressed concerns that the swift scooters pose a real concern and risk for those who are blind and have low vision.

These concerns have not gone unheard with Auckland Council promising it will seek urgent advice on the safety and rules of the new e-scooters.

Advertisement

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff earlier stated he believed there was a serious issue, and wanted a safety report ahead of any major accident.

A spokesperson for Onzo said it was also taking safety concerns seriously before the launch of their e-scooters next month.

"We're considering adding helmets to our scooters so our users will have the option to access them.

"We'll be working with Auckland Council to make sure we accommodate any concerns they may have about the safety of e-scooter sharing services," the spokesperson said.

While safety is an important issue for us, the spokesperson said it's important to keep the risk of injury in perspective.

"People are far more likely to be seriously hurt in a motor vehicle accident than they are in an e-scooter collision.

Advertisement

"It will take time for regulatory bodies to figure out the best way to balance safety concerns against providing a service that tens of thousands of people find useful and enjoyable."

A spokeswoman for Lime also told the Herald it urges riders to practice safe riding by wearing helmets both through notifications on the app and on the actual scooter.

"All our users must abide by all the same city and state laws as if they were operating their own cars, bikes or scooters. This includes laws surrounding the use of mobile phones while travelling.

"While Lime's scooters can reach 25km per hour, it is up to the rider to deem what speed is reasonable based off of their surroundings," the spokeswoman said.