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CDC to study scooters and public health

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is conducting a public health study on the dockless scooter industry.

Austin, Texas, Public Health and the Austin Transportation Department is linking up with three CDC epidemiologists to look into the injuries since the scooters’ inception in Austin earlier this year.

The study will focus on the number of EMS call and injuries between Sept. 5 and Nov. 4 in the Austin area.

Bird scooters arrived in Columbia in August and another company, Lime, arrived the end of October. The machines have been met with concerns about their safety and that their presence on sidewalks can make it hard for disabled people to get around.

A City of Columbia leader, Councilman Mike Trapp blames the issues on the large volume of users.

“Millions of people doing anything, driving a car, you’re going to have death,” Trapp said.

Trapp also said he blames it on the learning curve.

“People haven’t developed the skill-set on how to manage them safely, what’s an appropriate speed, how do you handle them downhill,” Trapp said.

The University of Missouri Police Department said it has not received any calls in regards to scooter injuries.

Dr. Christopher Sampson with MU Health Care said in an emailed statement:

“We’ve see less than 50 Bird Scooter-related accidents in the University Hospital Department since their arrival in Columbia.”

Trapp said he does not see a policy change in the near future.

“We air on the side of freedom and allow people to make their own choices. I certainly haven’t seen any information that would make me want to prohibit the technology,” Trapp said.

Dr. Sampson said he recommends users always wear a helmet, obey the rules on the road, do not ride scooters on sidewalks and be sure to pay attention to your surroundings.

ABC 17 is still waiting for a comment from Bird and Lime scooters.

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