A British YouTuber has died following a fatal electric scooter crash, opening up a conversation about the relatively unregulated vehicles.
YouTube personality Emily Hartridge, who became Internet-famous after her satirical video series “10 Reasons Why” blew up, was killed while riding an electric scooter in London. Prior to an anticipated Instagram stream, fans instead saw this message, posted by family:
Hartridge’s tragic passing comes just weeks after the suicide of another YouTuber, Desmond Amofah, known better as Etika.
In response to the tragedy, YouTube Creators as well as fans and fellow personalities all offered their condolences.
We're deeply saddened to learn about the tragic loss of a truly talented British creator, Emily Hartridge. Our thoughts and condolences go out to all of her loved ones and fans.
— YouTube Creators (@ytcreators) July 13, 2019
Emily’s death has prompted a national conversation about safety and regulation regarding e-scooters. In many parts of Europe and the United States, the scooters are used as cheap and easy transportation for those without a conventional driver’s license. Many major cities like Los Angeles and Paris allow residents to rent electric scooters off the street.
But Britain hasn’t yet adopted the same commercial scooters, nor is it even technically legal to ride one on a public street. Lawmakers in the UK are partly concerned that e-scooters will be used on busy roads by children or drunk drivers trying to avoid a DUI charge.
Despite this, though, private e-scooters are used frequently. Hartridge isn’t the only victim; just a few days later, a 14-year-old boy on an electric scooter collided with a bus stop, and is currently fighting for his life.
Many are criticizing the unsafe reliance on e-scooters as a means of cheap transportation.
Electric scooters in Tallahassee are a bad idea, but I am so here for the chaos
— sangría papi (@dontkauf) July 15, 2019
Some believe the scooters themselves aren’t to blame, though.
Two people killed by HGVs while riding electric scooters, but yet somehow they're the "risky fad"?
These people are victims of how we design roads; permit lorries to drive during the busiest hours; and a lack of consistent cycling infrastructure. pic.twitter.com/IG9SzQZ0gP
— 🍭 Olly Newport 🍬 (@OllyNewport) July 15, 2019
(For the record: a lorry refers to a commercial truck in the UK).
The aim of the scooters is to solve the issue of the “last mile” – the final part of a journey which isn’t covered by public transport. They’re also an opportunity to get people out of cars and onto the roads using a more sustainable form of transport.
Satirical news website The Onion commented recently on the dangers of e-scooters, putting out a Pros and Cons list with sarcastic “pros” like “Sturdy, but still light enough for child to tip into lake” and “Huge spike in organ donations.”
Several e-scooter companies have begun talking about increased safety measures, as have city planners.
OUR FRONT PAGE: Electric scooter startups have met UK lawmakers to lobby for legalisation just 3 days after a YouTuber was killed on her scooter.
— Business Insider UK (@BIUK) July 15, 2019
What do you think of e-scooters? Are they inherently unsafe on modern roads, or should traffic laws seek to accommodate them and their riders? Let us know in the comments!
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