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Are dockless e-scooters a desirable 'last-mile' solution?

The problem in the eyes of some observers is that this mode of mobility has grown too fast. In many cities, the scooters showed up unannounced and without safety rules. The appearances have proven unsafe, as evidenced by two adult fatalities reported last month. In both cities where the deaths occurred, individuals over 18 can ride scooters without helmets, and that makes for dire consequences.

Emergency rooms in in cities where the scooters now roam report significant upticks in scooter-related injuries. While there are no official statistics yet, one doctor in Los Angeles estimates his hospital has treated more than 100 injuries this year ranging from scrapes to major traumas. Most riders don't wear helmets and he says as many as 40 percent of the victims suffered head and neck injuries.

As we have said, scooters are not a major issue in Chicago now. But that could change. Early this month, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the formation of a special task force to look at how to effectively incorporate new services like these scooters into the city's existing mobility system. Recommendations are expected sometime in early 2019.

What might come of that effort is anyone's guess. Perhaps new rules will be adopted as happened in Indianapolis. But no matter what occurs, it's clear that all drivers, cyclists, and scooter users will need to act predictably and mindfully. And if riders suffer injury due to someone's negligence, they should be aware that consulting an experienced attorney will be the best way to get answers for questions about their rights and options regarding seeking compensation.

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