The Panther Perspective

A Helmet in Your Handbag

Hannah Wilson, reporter

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Lime is a company that provides Dock-free scooters, and bikes for public use. Lime has bikes and scooters in 25 states in the U.S., 4 countries in Europe, and 27 college campuses.

 On Lime’s website they have a set of rules that you have to agree to in order to ride one of the scooters or bikes. The first rule shown is, “Obey all traffic laws.” Of course that’s to be expected, seeing that it is required by law for a minor to ride an electric scooter wearing a helmet in most states. It is highly suggested to wear a helmet if you are over the age of 17 as well. However is this completely logical? It could be more understandable if the company provided helmets, but they don’t. Say your in a pinch and need a quick ride, but don’t have time to call an uber, lyft, or taxi cab. There’s a scooter right in front of you, and you have the Lime app… are you gonna have a helmet in your handbag? The answer is most likely no, so you’re just gonna saunter off and be late to wherever you need to be? Once again the answer is most likely no, so most people would ride it anyway, which could cause injuries of all sorts.

 The first death while riding a Lime electric scooter happened on Saturday, September 1st, 2018. Jacoby Stoneking, 24, was riding home on an electric scooter early Saturday morning when he suspectedly fell off and hit his head, causing him a brain injury that would soon lead him to go brain dead. Stoneking’s death is still undergoing investigation, but his family wants answers. It is in question if Stoneking was hit by a car, which would have fled the scene almost immediately after the incident occured. He had abrasions on the back of his knees, a large wound on the left side of his head as well as deep cuts on his feet, legs, and arms.

 Although the cause of the accident is still unknown, could it have been prevented if he was wearing a helmet? He often went home on these quiet streets in Dallas, Texas. There were no large trees around, no potholes in the sidewalk, nothing that could’ve caused him to fall with such violent impact naturally. Yes, it could have simply been an error in judgement by the victim, but it’s very unlikely. If Stoneking was wearing a helmet, the damage would’ve been much less extensive and he could have possibly made it out with his life. In a couple interviews with some students, they agreed and had their own opinions.

 Haley Armstead, a junior here at Woodland Park, offered her own opinion saying, “Everybody should have a helmet. But it doesn’t seem practical to assume that everyone just has a helmet with them. Why wouldn’t they come with helmets? Like that seems so impractical, why wouldn’t they come with helmets?” She then offered some advice to people who plan on riding without a helmet. “Don’t get caught, I feel like that’s good. Also take extra care of paying attention to your surroundings.

 In another interview, Haylee Mohr, a freshman at WPHS offered, “In my opinion,it’s not practical at all. They should provide helmets for every bike, or scooter, or whatever it is. It doesn’t matter if it costs more money for the company to have to mass produce helmets, and them ship them out to be with the other stuff. If that’s an issue for them, then they shouldn’t be aloud to have their products on the streets… period. Safety for their customers should be their main priority, and if it’s not… why are they in America? We are a country all about the people right? Safety for the people is key to us, and if this company has any different ideas, then they shouldn’t be aloud whatsoever.”

 So what do you think? Is it safe to ride an electric scooter without a helmet? Should Lime provide helmets? Everyone is the judge of their own fate. You decide which path to take. So how will you ride?

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A Helmet in Your Handbag