The electric scooter-rental company Bird offers free helmets and safety resources to all its riders to encourage safety and compliance. (Bird / Courtesy photo)
The electric scooter-rental company Bird offers free helmets and safety resources to all its riders to encourage safety and compliance. (Bird / Courtesy photo)
Electric scooter companies acknowledge their products pose a safety risk. That’s why Bird Rides and Lime provide free helmets to users who pay for shipping.

But it doesn’t seem many people are taking advantage of the offer.

“I’ve never seen a scooter rider on IU Bloomington’s campus wear a helmet,” said Maggie Hopkins, senior vice president of administration for Indiana University Student Government.

In an attempt to change the culture on campus, IU Student Government is planning to pay the shipping cost for hundreds of helmets that will be given away during the IU Health Center’s student safety week in late March. Details are still being finalized, but the plan is to address a public safety issue caused by the arrival of the scooters.

About 100 Bird scooters were dropped off around Bloomington in September. Competitor Lime followed suit, bringing about 450 of its electric scooters to town later that month. Customers use smartphone applications to rent the scooters. Fees are based on rental time and the scooters can be left anywhere.

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