E-scooter injuries at Dunedin's emergency department have outpaced car-related presentations in a 2019 sample.
An article published in Emergency Medicine Australasia this week outlines one of the impacts the introduction of e-scooters had on the city.
It was authored by staff and students of the University of Otago and the city's emergency department.
The study took 172 and 228 vehicle-related injury presentations in samples from 2018 and 2019 respectively.
Lime scooters began operating in Dunedin in January.
In the 2019 period, there were 56 e-scooter related presentations, representing 54 events.
Car and truck-related injuries were at 52, and motorbikes and mopeds were 21.
The largest group was bicycle-related at 62, which includes collisions between bicycles and cars.
On average, one department bed was occupied by an e-scooter patient for 2h 44min each day during the six-week study period in 2019.
Graduating medical student and co-author Luke Barker said what surprised him most were the resources taken up from e-scooter injuries.
"If you were to quantify that cost, that's a lot of money."
Emergency department nurse practitioner and co-author Signe Stanbridge said there were things the study did not assess, such as the extent of injuries from car-related presentations.
"Potentially, they could be more serious injuries, but we can't tell you that from this study."
It also did not assess any potential positive public health benefits of e-scooters.
The study said the information could be used to inform public policy.
Ms Stanbridge said this could involve enforcement of wearing helmets and dedicated "e-scooter infrastructure".
"There's scope for a lot of further research."
The other authors were Sierra Beck and Annie Chan.
The Southern District Health Board and Dunedin City Council were unable to provide comment yesterday.
Auckland Council dumped Lime and Wave e-scooters from its streets last
Dunedin City Council community services general manager Simon Pickford
said recently it had a good relationship with Lime through its memorandum of understanding and regularly meet the company to discuss concerns and safety issues.
E-scooter companies do not need licences to operate in Dunedin, but the council is working towards making this happen.
It expects the bylaw to be in place by the middle of next year.