Report cases of children as scooter passengers, police ask

The State Police asks that if you see a child being transported on an electric scooter as a passenger, report it to the police.

In a statement to the media on April 24, police pointed to data from the Stradiņš Hospital, where 30 children aged under 18 have been treated in three years at the mouth, face, and jaw surgery center, whose injuries have ranged from facial abrasions to fractures.

The center's head Anna Ivanova said that the most dangerous way to transport a child is to have the child standing on the scooter between the rider and the handlebar:

"If there is a crash, the rider falls forward and crushes the child with their entire weight, and the handlebar is often at the height of the child's face. In this way, the child can get horrible injuries."

So police urged residents, seeing cases of a child being carried on the scooter as a passenger, to report by calling 110. If riders move on a Bolt rental scooter, then it can be reported to Bolt, which in such cases can identify the user and limit their access to the app.

In total, 410 people were treated in three years - from 2021 to 2023 - at Stradiņš Hospital with various head and face injuries after accidents while riding an electric scooter, of which 220 had open head wounds, 71 had a lower jaw fracture, 58 had a fractured cheekbone and upper jaw, while 46 victims had broken nose bones.

“Our observations lead to the conclusion that the typical victim of electric scooter accidents is a young man under the influence of alcohol, with accidents occurring more often during night hours. The highest number of victims is in the 20-23 age group, but there are also enough patients aged 23-38, while the oldest patient was 66.

"One of the most common causes of accidents is drunk driving. A third of victims have admitted to riding a scooter under the influence, but in fact this number could be even higher because 40% of patients have no data related to alcohol consumption," said Edgasr Freimanis, an assistant physician at Stradiņš Hospital's face and jaw surgery clinic.

He added that among all those treated within three years, only one had worn a helmet.

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