Opinion: Campus scooters are good, but safety is still a concern

Anne Akpabio

On Oct. 4, ” The E-scooter Micro Mobility Act” was passed 27 to 1 by the MSU Student Senate. The bill was designed as an eco-friendly solution to the transportation issues faced by the MSU student population. The tenets of the bill respond to the numerous issues around the commute options of MSU students within and outside the campus.

The scooter act is a feasible and economically plausible solution to MSU’s transportation and parking issues. The bill passed by the senate also enumerates various ways that e-scooter services can be enforced on campus. Some of the key things highlighted by the bill are the positive results on other campuses around Texas and the ease of launching the service. The bill closes out with an appeal to the school administration to implement an E-scooter service on campus.

While I support the act and wait for the university’s administrators to act on the inherent needs of the student body, I believe that a major issue left unattended by the bill is the enforcement of helmets while using e-scooters and other similar forms of transportation. The danger that the lack of use of helmets presents to the student body is a safety concern and a potential health concern.

Helmets are enforced for a reason and I think that students sometimes trivialize the safety provided by them. They are supposed to serve as a shield if there is ever any impact on the head and its frame while riding. Even though our campus has a speed limit of 20 miles per hour, which reduces the possibility of high-impact collisions, I think it is imperative that if e-scooters are ever implemented on campus, strict regulations should be placed on the use of helmets to ensure the general safety of the student population.

A huge component of efficient transportation is the assurance of an ideal standard of safety. Accidents can sometimes be foreseeable and preventable. While I see and understand the numerous advantages the e-scooters will bring to the campus I am also wary of the possibility of accidents and the inability of the campus to enforce safety measures regarding the use of helmets.

A lot of students on campus who ride scooters, skateboards and bikes to class do not wear helmets which may be because they do not understand the severity of the issue. Helmets are not just for kids; everyone, kids and adults alike need to be protected from the chance of  causing significant damage to their vital organs.

Within the college scene there is a lot of ambivalence around issues like this, in an attempt to seem cool or to validate the inherent need to be “mature.” But my argument to that will always be that putting your life in danger will never be cool or mature. As young adults, I think it is important to understand that little details you might consider irrelevant – like wearing your helmet – can save your life.

Precaution is an attribute that is now being paraded as redundant in our society and for most people it will never be deemed important until it has to be. Students who ride bikes , scooters and other related means of transportation without helmets on roads with speed limits of 20 miles per hour are more likely to do it on roads with higher speed limits.

I think the issue to be addressed here is one of habit. Even if you consider riding in a school zone without a helmet not dangerous what is the guarantee that the students in question will wear helmets in situations that are dangerous. Many unfortunate events have occurred with students riding scooters on roads surrounding campuses, there really is no guarantee. What happens if there is a drunk driver or a driver who isn’t following the speed limit? Is there really a guarantee of low impact bike accidents on campuses? These are parting thoughts that we should all consider.