Many students use bikes, skateboards and Lime scooters to get around campus, but a significant number do not follow proper safety guidelines when riding, according to Heather Lawson, outreach and student engagement coordinator at Student Health Services.
Mike Kennon, assistant director for planning and operations for NCSU Transportation, and Sarah Williams, transportation demand manager of WolfTrails, provided some detail on how popular these modes of transportation are.
While statistics on personal bikes and scooters are unknown, Kennon said the university tracks usage of Lime bikes and scooters.
“From last year, we were getting three rides per device [per day], either bike or scooter,” Kennon said.
Williams said there are approximately 200 Lime scooters and 100 Lime bikes on campus.
Despite how popular these modes of transportation are, some students aren’t taking the necessary precautions, resulting in some injuries, according to Lawson. Lawson said she hasn’t seen many students wearing helmets when riding bikes, scooters or recreational modes of transportation.
NC State is taking steps to encourage students to ride safely. Lawson and Kennon said Student Health and the transportation department hold ride safety events during Welcome Week and Finals Survival Week where they give away free helmets.
Lime is also taking action to ensure students are riding safely. In its user agreement, it requires users to wear a helmet and follow the traffic laws in the surrounding area. Lime has also given away helmets at various events, such as Packapalooza.
“Several hundreds of helmets have been given away, and I have yet to see any Lime helmets on campus,” Kennon said.
Lawson encouraged students to be safe while riding.
“Wear helmets, first and foremost,” Lawson said. “We do some outreach events around the helmet safety during the beginning and the end of the semester. I’ve seen students at Dan Allen not stopping at the stop sign and not crossing the road at a crosswalk. They need to follow the rules of the road, just like all other motorized vehicles.”
“I also see students wear headphones when riding bikes [or] scooters,” Lawson said. “You can’t hear people honking or oncoming traffic.”
Kennon and Williams also advise students to ride their bikes and scooters on the road. They said that because brick sidewalks are often uneven, riding can be dangerous.
More information on Lime scooters and bikes can be found on the NC State website.