A man involved in a serious electric scooter accident in Brisbane has died in hospital in what is believed to be the first e-scooter fatality in Australia.
- Lime scooters says the scooter did not malfunction and its helmets meet national standards
- Queensland Ambulance Service says about 80 people have been injured on scooters in recent months
- Head injuries are the biggest risk for people falling off scooters
The 50-year-old man suffered critical head and facial injuries after crashing his e-scooter at South Bank.
It is understood the man had a heart attack after the accident.
He was found just after midnight on Wednesday, with a passer-by performing CPR until paramedics arrived.
The man was rushed to the Princess Alexandra Hospital, and a hospital spokeswoman confirmed his death on Thursday afternoon.
Pedestrian Council of Australia chairman Harold Scruby is calling on e-scooters to be banned.
“I’ve been predicting this for quite some time,” he said.
“What do they expect? Of course there’s been a death, and there’ll be many more to follow.”
Hire company Lime scooters has been working with police in relation to the incident.
Lime’s director of government affairs, Mitchell Price, offered his condolences to the man’s family.
“We are truly saddened by this news, and we extend our sincerest thoughts and prayers to the man’s family,” he said.
“We stand by ready to assist the authorities as they look into what happened.”
On Wednesday, Lime’s public affairs manager Nelson Savanh said data from the scooter had been analysed.
“What we can rule out is any malfunction of the scooter itself,” he said.
The man who died was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.
Mr Savanh said the company’s helmets met national standards.
“The vast number of our riders are riding safely and getting to the end of their trip safely,” he said.
Tony Hucker from the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) issued a safety warning after the accident, saying accidents with scooters had resulted in numerous hospitalisations in recent months.
“Two hospitals looked at their data over a two-month period in Brissie and we saw about 80 injuries and out of those 80 injuries, 12 cases needed surgery,” he said.
Mr Hucker said people were wearing helmets in the overwhelming majority of injury cases.
“The biggest risk is of a head injury when falling off any mobility device and we also just wanted people to watch the speed on them. They can get along pretty quickly, they can do 25 kilometres an hour and that’s pretty fast on a footpath,” he said.
An investigation by the US group Consumer Reports published earlier this year found there had been more than 1,500 people injured across the United States on e-scooters since late 2017.
‘Worst pedestrian environment in the world’
Mr Scruby said he was appalled that the Queensland Government and the Brisbane City Council permitted Lime to operate.
“This is the worst pedestrian environment I’ve ever walked in in the world, it is just outrageous.”
He said he and his wife were walking recently around Howard Street Wharf and he witnessed extremely dangerous behaviour.
“I saw over 60 per cent of people on the scooters not wearing helmets, I saw well over 10 per cent of people doubling, including children who looked like they were about 12 years old.
“It’s as though pedestrians don’t matter.
“In Auckland now, payouts have been $1.4 million already in costs for these scooter crashes.
“France has just banned them as from September on the footpath, Barcelona has banned them, Adelaide has kicked Lime out of Adelaide.”