Scooter safety

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Anytime we hear of a serious accident, our first reaction is hoping for a good outcome for the health of the victim involved.

That is certainly our hope in the case of Meg Herndon, who was critically injured last weekend when the scooter she was riding was hit by a pickup truck. She was not wearing a helmet.

According to an online page set up to keep friends updated, Meg is not responding, but she is stable. Meg's mother, who is writing updates on caringbridge.org, says she appreciates the overwhelming support from Meg's soccer teammates and her friends both here and from the St. Louis area. Meg, by all accounts, is a good teammate and student.

We pray for a full recovery.

A secondary reaction when an accident like this happens is to see if there's anything we can learn from it. A story published by the Southeast Missourian on scooter safety indicated that most scooter riders -- and there are at least 400 of them on campus at SEMO -- in Cape Girardeau don't wear helmets. According to the owner of a scooter sales shop, the guys think it doesn't look cool and the girls think it will mess up their hair.

Scooters have a place in Cape Girardeau, particularly around campus. They are an efficient mode of transportation, inexpensive to purchase and to operate, as they get great gas mileage. And they make zipping around campus rather easy.

But they are small, and sometimes hard to see.

We'd like to encourage everyone who drives a scooter to wear a helmet. It's appropriate for our local leaders to examine whether helmets should be required. Helmets are required for motorcyclists, but state law does not require them for scooters.

So when you're driving around Cape Girardeau, particularly in the areas around campus, please keep a close eye out and be careful for the scooters. And if you're riding a scooter, the coolest thing you can do is protect your mind and body.

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