Jun 7, 2019

The scooter carnage in America's cities

Photo: Jodi Robertson/AP

Scooter use is soaring in America's cities, with many riders finding out the hard way that cars are not good at sharing the road.

Why it matters: "[A] rough count by [AP] of media reports turned up at least 11 electric scooter rider deaths in the U.S. since the beginning of 2018. Nine were on rented scooters and two on ones the victims owned," the AP reports.

Between the lines: People aren't wearing helmets on these rented scooters, and the head injuries are piling up.

  • "Riders don’t want exposure to lice or germs that could be found in shared helmets, and many make a spontaneous decision to scoot while they’re already out and about."
  • "In Austin, Texas, public health officials ... counted 192 scooter-related injuries in three months in 2018. Nearly half were head injuries."
  • In Los Angeles, ER doctors "counted 249 scooter injuries [in 2018], and more than 40% were head injuries."

What's next: The scooter companies are taking actions to reduce risk.

  • "Bird ceased operations after midnight. Lime halts rentals overnight in some markets but in most its scooters are available all night."
  • "Lime has also been updating the design of its scooters, with a broader wheel base and better suspension and braking; Bird is including more durable brakes and reinforced hardware to prevent failures."

The bottom line: America's streets remain especially dangerous for people who aren't in a vehicle, and that's usually because of the vehicles.

Go deeper: Scooter companies' meteoric rise in one chart

Go deeper

Pompeo tells Congress Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement Wednesday that he has certified to Congress that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China and does not warrant special treatment under U.S. law.

The big picture: The Chinese Communist Party has unveiled a sweeping new security law that will criminalize sedition, foreign influence and secession in Hong Kong. The move and the subsequent reaction from the U.S. has put the once semi-autonomous city's status as one of Asia's largest financial hubs at risk.

Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter ... vs. Trump

Twitter came under fire on Tuesday for allowing President Trump to tweet conspiracy theories about Joe Scarborough and the 2001 death of one of his staffers, despite the objections of the staffer's family. The company came under further fire from Trump himself for fact-checking two of his tweets about mail-in voting.

Dan and the New York Times' Kara Swisher dig into Trump’s use of the platform and Twitter’s steps — and missteps — in handling it.

Go deeper: Trump has turned Big Tech's speech rules into a political football

22 mins ago - Technology

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 a.m. ET: 5,618,829 — Total deaths: 351,146 — Total recoveries — 2,311,404Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 a.m. ET: 1,681,793 — Total deaths: 98,933 — Total recoveries: 384,902 — Total tested: 14,907,041Map.
  3. Public health: Fauci says data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine — Nearly half of Americans say someone in their household has delayed medical care.
  4. Tech: Zipline drones deliver masks to hospitals; vaccines could be next
  5. Business: Boeing to lay off 6,770 more U.S. employees.
  6. 🏒Sports: NHL unveils 24-team playoff plan to return from hiatus.
  7. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 26 mins ago - Politics & Policy