Safety concerns arise as electric scooters and bikes become popular on Hill

  • Published
  • By Donovan Potter 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – People on Hill AFB took 938 trips and rode nearly 1,000 miles in May on Lime electric scooters and electric bikes, which have become popular, but are often ridden without personal protection equipment.

Members of the 75th ABW Safety office have become increasingly concerned as people are seen operating scooters and bikes contrary to the Air Force Traffic Safety Regulation 91-207.

“We are not opposed to e-scooters and bikes,” said Lead Safety Manager Adam Sandbek. “We want people to be able to travel around the installation quickly and safely. We’re just noting that very few are wearing helmets and that’s a concern for us.”

This is also in accordance with the Lime user agreement that states people will wear a helmet when using the product. The Lime company even provided several free helmets to Hill dormitory residents.

Other precautions offered to help everyone stay safe while using these products is to not operate on sidewalks, don’t use electronic devices while riding, only ride singularly and only operate on roads with speeds of 25 mph or less.

Besides the obvious hazards to pedestrians if people are riding on sidewalks, Sandbek said it’s hazardous to riders as well because sidewalks can be uneven and riders are less likely to be seen by people driving.

“If people are riding them on sidewalks, drivers may not see you or be looking for you going across the entrance to a parking lot, for example,” he said. “There’s definitely a risk factor there.”

Sandbek advises scooter and bike riders to be particularly cautious right inside the South Gate and at any of the busier intersections where there is heavier vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

The decision to have electric scooters and bikes on base was made based on a 75th ABW Safety office risk assessment and on base policy, which was designed to keep people safe while enjoying the vehicles.

These documents can be accessed by clicking the VPP icon on military desktops and then click Traffic Safety.

Lead Safety Manager Christopher Lee said he was saddened when a freshman at the Air Force Academy died last month as a result of severe injuries sustained after crashing on a skateboard without wearing a helmet.

“That compounds the concern from our safety office and the Air Force Safety Center,” Lee said. “Trying to keep people safe and helping to avoid tragedies like this is the purpose of the risk assessment. We want people to move freely on the installation and be safe.”