ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46)- Atlanta City Council is making an effort to track and monitor all scooter-related injuries to possibly add more safety requirements.
Zella Turner said she rode a scooter to and from work downtown everyday for months, until January 24 when she was thrown off her JUMP scooter while riding downhill on her way home from work. She said the scooter would not stop.
“I am absolutely sure those breaks weren’t working,” Turner told CBS46 reporter Hayley Mason. “That wasn’t my first time riding a scooter. I know how to stop a scooter,” she said.
Turner was thrown off the Jump scooter and sent to the hospital. She has fractured facial bones, more than a dozen stitches in her cheek, injured fingers and is wearing an arm brace. She is suing Uber over her accident and said she wants other riders to be thoughtful when signing the waivers associated with e-scooters.
She said the e-scooter owners will not acknowledge fault because of the waiver she signed.
“There is no liability on their part and people are assuming the machine is right and if it’s not then that’s a problem,” Turner said. “If I have an accident and the reason I have an accident is because your product is defective, that’s not my fault. I did everything I was supposed to do,” she added.
Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore just filed possible legislation to track scooter-related injuries. She is asking hospitals and urgent care facilities to provide quarterly scooter injury reports.
“I think at minimum helmets are something they need to consider, and when we get this data in and determine the type of injuries, maybe that will the policy makers make that decision,” Moore said.
Atlanta emergency room physicians told us they are seeing more patients with serious injuries from scooter accidents.
“Initially when scooters started to become more popular, we were seeing about 20 or 30 a month and that number has gradually increased to now seeing about 100 a month,” said Dr. Hany Atallah, the Chief of Emergency Medicine at Grady Hospital. “We have seen a number of patients with some pretty significant head injuries, and we’ve seen a lot of patients with arm and wrist fractures and things from falling on the scooters.
He said they’re also treating more pedestrians who have been hit by scooters.
“If there are a lot of head injuries like I am hearing, then we perhaps need to do like other cities and say that you have to have a helmet,” Moore said. “In worse case scenario, if we find that the injuries are so significant and trying to find out more about how they fell off, we may have to look at if these are even safe to be traveling on our streets,” added Moore.
Moore met Turner during the taping of CBS46’s interview. Turner vowed to be at the upcoming public safety committee meeting next week at Atlanta’s City Hall.
Grady Hospital is about to enter a period of study in which doctors will count scooter-related injuries with specificity.
CBS46 has requested comment from Uber, they sent the following statement:
"We are upset to hear of this report and have Ms. Turner in our thoughts as she recovers. As soon as this was reported to us, we immediately removed this scooter from the JUMP fleet."