A woman has suffered a serious vaginal injury after falling from a scooter on launch day of Lime in the Hutt Valley.
The incident occurred near the Upper Hutt brewing precinct, Brewtown, about 8pm on Friday, Wellington Free Ambulance communications advisor Sarah Coulthard said.
However, she was unable to confirm whether or not she was travelling on an electric scooter that belonged to California-based transport sharing company Lime that launched its e-scooter sharing business in Hutt Valley on the same day.
The injured woman was treated by paramedics and taken to Hutt Hospital around 9:45pm, Coulthard said.
Police confirmed they had attended the accident at 23 Blenheim St and that the woman had been using an electric scooter.
Brewtown business development manager Phil Gorman said he didn’t know if the accident had been at Brewtown or if the injured woman had been a patron.
But people had ridden Lime scooters into the brewing precinct, he confirmed.
As a result of the incident, a security guard would be posted outside the gate during business hours to direct riders to leave their scooters in a designated parking area.
He said Brewtown management had been caught off-guard by the lime launch which had not been advertised by the company or the Upper Hutt City or Hutt City councils who had been working with Lime to bring the scooters to the valley.
“Obviously we were caught unaware of it happening. Maybe if we’d been told [beforehand] we could have been better prepared but it wasn’t an issue.
“[The scooters] are fun and that’s what Brewtown is all about. We don’t want to stop people using them to get here but safety is paramount, so we won’t be letting people ride them inside the complex.”
Upper Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy said Lime was like any other company – the council did not routinely announce the arrival of new businesses in the city.
Lime had been discussed at a council meeting and the minutes were freely available to the public, he said.
About 400 of the e-scooters were deposited on the streets of the Hutt Valley as part of the rollout in the area.
Lime launched its operations in New Zealand in October delivering scooters to Auckland and Christchurch.
The scooters have since come under criticism with Living Streets Aotearoa executive member Gay Richards saying they posed a threat to pedestrians.
In early December, ACC spokesperson James Funnell said between October 14 and November 25 there were 285 e-scooter injury-related claims – 171 in Auckland, 102 in Christchurch and 12 for the rest of the country.
Lime’s battery powered e-scooters can travel up to 27kmh and have a maximum range of 48 kilometres.
They are classed as a “low-powered vehicle” by the Transport Agency and can be used on the footpath and road. They do not require a registration or driver’s licence.
In October, a Transport Agency spokesman said e-scooters had been allowed in New Zealand since 2004 and there was no evidence to suggest people should be concerned about their use.