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IUPUI campus scooter safety tips

By Caroline Dwyer Gilley

September 30, 2022

While it might seem innocuous to ride a scooter from one place to another in town or on campus, there are many situations that can arise quickly and cause a serious accident.

Just as pedestrians and cyclists must be vigilant, it’s important that scooter riders drive defensively, always stay alert and follow some basic safety precautions.

“While we understand that scooters provide a quick and convenient way to travel short distances, we just ask that anyone who chooses this mode of transportation be respectful to others and operate them in a safe manner,” said Scott Dunning, division chief of the Indiana University Police Department’s central division, which includes IUPUI.

Follow these safety tips and always be cautious if you choose to ride a scooter:

  • Wear a helmet: While helmets are not required by Indiana law, it is strongly recommended.
  • Share the road: Be mindful of motor vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians as you ride.
  • Operate a scooter like a vehicle: Scooters follow the same traffic rules as bicycles. Follow the rules of the road and go with the flow of traffic.
  • Drive sober: Do not ride while under the influence of alcohol or other substances in order to avoid injury and/or a citation.
  • Ride in the bike lane: If possible, use the bike lane. Keep scooters off the sidewalk.
  • Drive solo: Scooters are designed as a one-person vehicle. Riding with two people will throw off your balance and increase the risk of an accident.
  • Stay off your phone: Riding a scooter takes focus and both hands, so resist the urge to look at or use your phone while you’re driving.
  • Watch for uneven surfaces and debris: Scanning the road surface while you’re riding is critical. Watch out for cracks, potholes and uneven surfaces that can catch you off-guard quickly.
  • Slow down: It’s important to slow down before looking behind you to turn. Since scooters don’t have mirrors, you need to look over your shoulder to turn, which can cause you to veer in the direction you’re looking. It’s easy to underestimate how fast you’re going on a scooter.
  • Be especially cautious at night: Darkness makes it harder for others to see you on a scooter, and makes it more difficult for you to see uneven surfaces and obstructions in front of you.

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Caroline Dwyer Gilley is public safety communications manager with IU Public Safety.