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As electric scooters gain popularity across Valley, safety officials take note

(Getty Images Photo/Mario Tama)

PHOENIX — Government officials are taking note of safety concerns related to the shareable electric scooters that have popped up all over metro Phoenix streets.

CNBC recently reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is looking into the rise of injuries related to the scooters, which can be rented through phone apps.

A variety of ride-sharing companies operate the devices in the Valley, including Lime, Bird, Lyft, Uber and Razor.

In Tempe, where the scooters are popular with the Arizona State University population, the devices are seen as a good way to get around town, despite the risks.

“We do feel like this really is a good mode of transportation because of the construction and all the traffic we do see,” Andrea Glass of Tempe Fire Department told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday.

However, Glass went on to say they are treating injuries on a regular basis.

“We typically see anywhere from 25 to 30 e-scooter injuries a month, averaging about one call a day,” she said.

In addition, there is a growing trend of impairment being involved in the accidents.

“About 22 percent of our scooter incidents have drugs or alcohol related to them,” Glass said.

Tempe police confirmed to KTAR News that the city’s first DUI case was underway for someone operating an electric scooter under the influence.

Glass said safety officials want everyone to keep an eye out for scooter riders, whether it’s fellow scooter riders, bike riders or drivers.

“These scooters can travel up to 20 mph so they do come up pretty fast,” she said. “We do encourage riders to wear helmets.”

Some companies have pulled their scooters out of Tempe after the city instituted strict licensing regulations and costly fees.

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