The University is marketed as a “walking campus,” meaning students are expected to be able to make it to and from classes in a time-efficient manner no matter their location on campus.
While this factoid has been debated amongst students, there’s no doubt that the University utilizes permit-only access ways and closed-off road times for their students’ safety while traveling.
However, the University is overlooking some of the biggest perpetrators of this walking campus rule: electric scooters.
Currently, the University has no policy or statement on the use of these electronic scooters. Yet, they were quick to ban self-balancing scooters in 2015 for the safety risks presented to both users and pedestrians.
This makes you question why they have yet to implement any action on the grown-up version of the hover board.
Not only are these motorized scooters dangerous for unsuspecting bystanders, but they can be equally as dangerous for the riders. If inexperienced, scooter riders can easily lose balance or control and become victim to a multitude of unfortunate injuries. Even the most seasoned riders can still find themselves going a little too fast down the University’s hilly sidewalks.
According to The Washington Post, a Salt Lake City hospital reported a 161% increase in scooter injuries within the year. Amongst the most frequently seen injuries were fractures, sprains, dislocations and even lacerations of the wrist, ankle, elbow and shoulder.
Even if you happen to think you’re safe indoors, you aren’t. Electric scooters can also be found whiring through both residential and educational halls, scuffing and marking the floors. Classrooms are almost interrupted with sounds of accelerating and even sometimes afterwards, a thud.
These scooters also lack designated parking both indoors and out. In turn, they not only become fire safety hazards by blocking entrances and exits, but they can even limit and violate accessibility standards for those with disabilities.
It seems as if the target demographic of these scooters are student athletes, typically seen rolling around the outskirts of Tiger Stadium between classes and practices. However, isn’t this a little counterintuitive for athletes to be ditching the cardiovascular benefits of walking for fancy Razors? Also, isn’t it ironic that athletes could put themselves out for a season just by slamming their brakes a little too hard or accidentally jumping a curb?
Worst of all is the obnoxious names of the scooters, my personal favorites ranging from SWAGTRON to Uberscoot. This leads me to my next question: why pay $800 for a malnourished Vespa named like a bad Soundcloud rapper?
Point-blank, motorized scooters shouldn’t be allowed ethically on a campus that prides itself on their easy means of pedestrian travel. Electric scooters offer nothing but potential hazard.The University is irresponsible for not yet implementing any policies regulating them.
Gabrielle Martinez is an 18-year-old mass communication freshman from Gonzales, Louisiana.