Safety rules are drilled into students’ heads from a young age, but many don’t follow safety guidelines when jumping on an e-scooter to get to class.
“I’m guilty of flying over the handlebars a few times,” said Harrison Knable, freshman IU Student Government intern.
IUSG and the IU Health Center are partnering with Bird to give away 100 free helmets Monday to increase student safety on scooters after many students have had accidents, including fractured bones, broken front teeth and a cracked skull.
Next week is IU’s first Scooter Safety Week.
The idea for this event came about last semester as scooters were becoming more popular, Knable said.
“No one was wearing helmets, and the student life section of IUSG deals in part with keeping students safe,” Knable said. “This was an easy fix, as well as a necessary one.”
The giveaway will be from 3 to 5 p.m. March 25 at the intersection of 10th Street and Fee Lane and at the Woodburn Clock Tower. There will also be promotional gifts from Bird including stickers and safety information, Knable said.
Bird has worked with cities across the country to sponsor helmet giveaways and promote safety.
Each day will have a theme, starting with Monday’s Wear a Helmet, Knable said. The other focuses are Eliminate Distractions, Park Politely, Follow the Rules of the Road and Your Ride.
“A lot of people don’t wear helmets because people don’t even think about it or have a helmet, so hopefully we can start to solve that problem by giving out helmets,” he said.
Knable hopes the giveaway will help to erase the stigma of wearing helmets, he said.
The city of Bloomington strongly recommends wearing a helmet while riding scooters, according to the city’s website.
“You wear helmets when you ride a bike, so why not when you ride these motorized scooters?” Knable asked.
Freshman Grace White doesn’t usually ride the scooters, but she has seen people wipe out while riding them without helmets.
“Students don’t really wear helmets, but they should, and they know they should but they’re college students so a scooter accident would probably not be the worst part of their week,” White joked.