Scooters are commonplace in Gainesville, especially near the University of Florida campus, but a recent scooter accident has raised awareness about scooter safety in the Gainesville community.
On Tuesday night, a 51-year-old woman was seriously injured after being thrown from her scooter when a motorist tried to turn into a gas station and collided with her scooter, according to Gainesville.com. The accident occurred on North Main Street.
She was not wearing a helmet, according to Gainesville Police spokesman Ben Tobias.
UF student Emily Dhondt still rides her scooter despite a past accident, but she said she worries about others who haven’t learned the hard way about wearing a helmet.
“When you’re going out with your friends or if you’re about to have a full day of school and you don’t want to mess your hair up, it doesn’t seem like a priority until you’ve been in an accident,” Dhondt said.
A large number of students drive their scooters to and from campus every day, but sharing the streets with cars and buses can make driving them dangerous.
According to Florida state law, those over the age of 21 are not required to wear helmets while operating a motor scooter.
Alachua County Sheriff’s Sgt. Sherry French says those older than 21 are able to make the choice based on their rights as adults.
“I think they’re of an age where they can make that decision better on their own and that they, you know, understand the problems that they’re gonna have,” French said.
Despite the law, Dhont doesn’t believe all riders should wear helmets, no matter what age they are.
Emily Stanton edited this story online.