Investigators with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office are looking into how nine electric Bird scooters wound up on the outskirts of Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park Monday.
According to a SCSO spokesperson, county crews found 9 electric scooters in a pile with their GPS ripped out. The scooters were found near the intersection of Bluff and Locke Cuba Road, not far from the Shelby Forest General Store.
As Local 24 has reported, the electric scooters have received mixed reviews from Memphians and visitors alike. Last week, we introduced viewers to Tabitha Burchfield. She is not a fan of the Bird.
“It’s a no go for me,” she said. “I got on it one time and I’m one and done.”
Her accident happened while she rode over the trolley tracks three weeks ago.
“I don’t think I was going the full 20 mph. My ankle went one way and my knee went the other,” she said.
Burchfield told Local 24 she’ll eventually need surgery. She has another scheduled doctor’s visit August 20th for her torn meniscus.
“The scooters are dangerous,” she said. “More people should be aware. You see people wrecking on them. I see people wrecking on them constantly on Snapchat. People are video recording and they’re not paying attention and they’re falling.”
As Birds start appearing in more cities across the U.S., the company said it is ramping up its safety rhetoric. Last week, Bird created a Global Safety Advisory Board. The focus will be on increasing the safety of people riding slow-speed electric scooters in a car-centric world and the importance of sharing the road.
“Safety is our top priority at Bird, and we are committed to partnering with all cities to ensure that the community, and its visitors, safely embrace our affordable, environmentally friendly transportation option. We strive to improve and enhance the well-being of our riders and communities through concrete action, including: restricting the maximum speed of the vehicles, requiring riders to upload a driver’s license and confirm they are 18 or older, providing an in-app tutorial on how to ride a Bird and how to park it, and posting clear safety instructions on each Bird. Bird was also the first in the industry to offer free helmets to its riders. To date, Bird has distributed more than 40,000 free helmets to riders. Additionally, Bird recently formed the Global Safety Advisory Board, which will create, advise, and implement global programs, campaigns, and products to improve the safety of those riding Birds and other e-scooters.
We strongly recommend reporting any incidents that Bird scooters are involved in, as we have a support team dedicated to safety that is available around the clock to address questions and reports we receive. We provide a number of ways for people to reach us including by email (Hello@bird.co), our in-app messaging feature, and by phone. We strive to respond to all inquiries in a timely fashion and are continually striving for an immediate response time.”
If you have any information about the vandalized Bird scooters, you’re asked to call Crime Stoppers at (901) 528-CASH.