Good Question: Are they looking for ‘stolen’ e-scooter helmets?
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Take a drive anywhere around Rochester and look around the city. You’ll see those new electric bikes and e-scooters scattered along sidewalks.
What you probably won’t see are the helmets that came with them, to begin with.
Are people stealing them?
That’s exactly what News10NBC’s Brennan Somers is hearing in recent days now that Rochester and a group called HOPR are rolling out a fleet of 500 pedal bikes, electric-assist bikes, and e-scooters.
The scooters originally came with helmets. A viewer tells us they’re all gone and have been "stolen.”
Somers looked into it and got some answers from HOPR staff.
"Stolen" may not be the most accurate term. They aren’t going around actively looking for riders who kept the helmets or dumped them. In fact, the hope is that those same customers will use them again.
HOPR officials told Somers:
"Helmets were provided with each scooter when first deployed to encourage helmet use. We will clean and sanitize those in circulation and provide additional helmets to users through events and pop-up helmet giveaways."
Here’s the other point about helmets. While they do offer more protection and are encouraged not all riders have to wear them.
Under state law, e-bike and e-scooter riders have to be 16 years old, and they do have to wear helmets until they turn 18 if they want to hop on a scooter.
There is a helmet requirement for all riders on faster e-bikes, considered Class 3, but HOPR doesn’t use those here in Rochester.
The bikes we have now are slower.
Here’s another thing people are asking: we see the electric bikes and scooters but no charging stations. What’s the deal?
They are working to put some of those stations in, but for now, HOPR brings out charged batteries and swaps them with the old ones. They do this so workers aren’t taking the rides in only to have to bring them back out.