BIRD scooters are fun and easy to use, but be careful on KC's bumpy pavement

Jim Cunningham
August 22, 2018 - 5:28 am

BIRD electric scooters, the latest app-based mode of transportation, are convenient and a lot of fun, but the devices can mean a trip to the E.R. for riders who are not careful. 

KMBZ's Jim Cunningham hopped on a BIRD for the first time in downtown Kansas City and quickly covered four miles at a top speed of 15 miles an hour.

"One thing I've noticed, when you are on these scooters, you really have to keep an eye on potholes and any other obstructions in the roadway," Jim said, while zipping along the pavement. "They don't handle the bumps very well."

The company that owns and rents the scooters says riders need to wear helmets, stay off sidewalks and follow all traffic laws.  

"I think it's just the general concensus that no one thinks they're going to be the one that gets hurt," said Garrett Fenley, who doesn't wear a helmet. Fenley lives downtown and takes a BIRD scooter to and from Children's Mercy Hospital, where he works. 

Dr. James Cusser, who works at Research and Belton Regional Medical Centers, said he is already aware of people being injured on BIRD scooters.

"They can incur some pretty grave injuries, especially since people are using them primarily on concrete," Cusser said. "People will break wrists or arms -- we've actually seen a lot of concussions from them."

Riding on the sidewalk is illegal, but a lot of users are doing it anyway. 

Jim noticed a lot of drivers are unfamiliar with sharing the road with BIRD scooters and, at times, it is difficult to be seen. 

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