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Scooter Injuries Rising

September 02, 2008
Scooter Injuries Rising Police See More Crashed With Smaller Motorbikes By Tyler Lopez, 7NEWS Reporter POSTED: 5:53 pm MDT August 19, 2008 UPDATED: 8:07 pm MDT August 19, 2008 DENVER -- The lure to drop $2,000 to $7,000 for a scooter comes down to basic economics: at up to 70 miles per gallon you could go a full week on $5. Sales have never been better at Erico Motorsports in LoDo. "It's been tough to keep up with demand because it's become more of a necessity than what it was before, which was a toy," said owner Tai Beldock. "We tell them, put a deposit down and as soon as it gets here from Italy, it's yours." A young couple, admiring a white Vespa, said they may buy to try and reduce commute times. "We're both going to work in one car. So it'll be a lot easier for us and definitely (we want) just to save some money," said Jill Ralston. "Basically, it's great on gas. They're pretty user-friendly and stay 'green' type of thing. It's better for the environment," said Matthew Calhoun. But the next answer is why one area hospital is stepping forward. The question: Will you protect your own skull? "Probably not with a helmet. (I'll) Just go with the basic glasses. I don't know. I might get a cool helmet," said Calhoun. "The problem is it's a two-wheeled vehicle in a four-wheeled vehicle world. It's tough to compete with a two-ton car when you're driving around on a Vespa," said Dr. Bruce Adams, ER medical director at St. Joseph Hospital in Denver. "We're seeing mostly patients coming in with fractures, fractures of the upper extremities. Some lower extremity fractures. Fortunately we haven't had anyone with a significant head or chest injury at this point," Adams said. "The injury pattern will continue to be the same. The number of injuries, I think, are going to go up as more scooters are on the streets." Denver police report an increase in scooter-related crashes as well, though they, and several other police agencies, tell 7NEWS they don't differentiate motorcycle and scooter crashes. Both the ER doctor and the scooter shop owner encourage scooter riders to wear protective clothing, including eyewear, pants, gloves and a helmet. But that advice is often ignored. "I can't be everyone's mother, " Beldock said.