In the summer, Riga East Clinical University hospital (RAKUS) receives several people each day who have been injured while driving a scooter.
Aleksejs Višņakovs, head of the hospital's Emergency Medical and Patients Reception Clinic, said: “There are mostly facial bone, skull, and brain injuries, but there have also been cases of higher speed driving and there has been a need to operate, for example, the abdomen, because there are spleen ruptures or severe chest injuries that need to be surgically treated.”
A similar scene is at Children's Clinical University Hospital (BKUS). By the end of July, 54 children have arrived here – 12 more than last year.
The chief doctor, Renāte Snipe, said,
“At best, they may have knocked their teeth out and [parents] have to invest many tens of thousands [of euros] to implant them. For a while, it's just a cosmetic defect, but in a worse case, it can have consequences for the entire life.”
Rental electric scooters are now available in several cities of Latvia. In order to fight aggressive drivers, the Bolt joint-driving platform has introduced a reckless driving monitoring. The handlebars are equipped with sensors to analyze users' habits.
Valts Marga, specialist for “Bolt” scooter operations in Latvia, said that two-month statistics from Bolt in Riga show that around 2,000 users received a warning of level one, which is about 1% of the total number of drivers. A level 2 critical remark, namely a reduction in speed, was received by approximately 300 people, representing 0.2% of the total number of users, while 150 users received a level 3 critical or a driving ban.
In order to minimize the risk of serious injuries, the Ministry of Transport recommends the mandatory use of helmets for minors. That requirement could take effect from next year.