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Atlanta City Council looks at ways to track scooter injuries

Council Member Dustin Hlllis introduced a resolution Monday that would requests hospitals and other healthcare facilities to submit scooter-related injury reports.

ATLANTA — The Atlanta City Council is looking into ways to track e-scooter related injuries.

Council Member Dustin Hlllis introduced a resolution Feb. 18 that would request hospitals and other healthcare facilities to submit scooter-related injury reports to the council on a quarterly basis. The city passed that ordinance unanimously weeks later, on March 4.

E-scooters, like Bird and Lime, have become popular in some metro Atlanta neighborhoods. Supporters say they provide another mode of transportation to navigate Atlanta's streets plagued by heavy traffic. But, they also come with risks of injury - something officials say needs to be better tracked. 

“As a critical care nurse, it is important to me that our city be able to monitor the injury data regarding this new mode of transportation,” said Council Member and Chair of the Public Safety Committee Dustin Hillis. "As we gather this data, it will inform possible future legislative actions to further regulate the devices in the interest of public safety."

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The legislation was drafted by Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore.

"Since scooters were introduced into Atlanta’s landscape, members of the public and media have expressed concern regarding the safety of these devices," Moore said. “Empirical data from healthcare providers would better position us to ensure that scooters are not just an innovative transportation solution, but a safe one as well.”

The city council is suggesting the reports include the number of incidents within the designated time frame, the injuries sustained, the number of people involved and if the incident was a fatality. 

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In January, the council voted 13-1 to allow e-scooters to stay on city streets - but with stricter regulations.

Although Atlanta officials approve of the scooters, other municipalities have not. Some who oppose the two-wheeled devices said they pose a danger in the public space - from sidewalks clogged with strewn scooters to an uptick in injuries related to falls. 

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RELATED: Scooters temporarily banned in another metro Atlanta city

Just last week, the Marietta City Council passed a ban on e-scooters with unanimous vote. They decided they would not be a good fit for the city, especially around the famed Marietta square, where there are a lot of outdoor displays and dining spaces.  

Marietta said the ban passed, not because they have a scooter problem now, but because they wanted to address the issue preemptively.

Meanwhile, Decatur officials have adopted interim agreements to regulate them before deciding how to proceed. The City of Tucker issued a temporary ban, while in Athens, the scooters are banned outright.  

Editor's Note: This story was originally published on Feb. 18. It has been updated to note that the ordinance was passed.