PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — A Pensacola man is still recovering a month after crashing while riding a Bird electric scooter in downtown Pensacola.
After multiple surgeries and with medical bills mounting, Greg Riegler is urging those who ride the scooters to extremely careful.
“I was riding the scooter down Garden Street here and I was trying to come up onto the sidewalk,” Riegler said. “I misjudged the curb and hit the flat side of the curb. It catapulted me face first into the concrete.”
Riegler crashed at the corner of Garden Street and Palafox Street on Sept. 11. Since, he has had multiple surgeries to treat several injuries.
“It caused me to break part of my femur, strained my arm. (It caused) breaks to some teeth, breaks to the bones around the teeth,” he said. “It’s still just a long recovery… $60,000 in medical bills and no insurance doesn’t help.”
Bird’s user agreement puts liability on the rider of the scooter. Therefore, Riegler and other riders are on the hook for their medical bills.
“Signing away all liability when you get on them, it’s all on to you to be extra extra safe,” he said.
Earlier this month, Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson addressed both the successes and concerns he had about the Bird scooter pilot program, which launched in July.
Robinson said while the scooters are an eco-friendly mode of transportation, city cameras have caught video of accidents and reckless behavior.
“Some of the bigger challenges have been later at night when we may need to think about the usage of the scooters,” Robinson said.
Riegler said he’s seen similar issues with people riding the scooters.
“You go around Seville Quarter after 11 o’clock at night — it’s like Mad Max out there. People are driving up on sidewalks, cutting in front of traffic,” he said. “Definitely some alcohol involved. Someone’s going to get killed.”
Mayor Robinson said he plans to talk with Bird soon about potentially shutting down the scooters earlier in the night to hopefully avoid more crashes.
If you crash on a scooter, Bird urges you to file a report with police.