Man found guilty of careless use of Lime scooter

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A reckless Lime scooter rider who crashed into a woman who was getting off a bus has been ordered to pay $4000 to her.

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Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook

Mitchell McIntyre has been found guilty of careless or inconsiderate use of a vehicle and sentenced in Auckland District Court today, following the crash in 2019.

The 65-year-old woman, Debra Christensen, received a concussion, facial cuts and bruises as well as bruises to her hip, chest-wall, cheek, chin and hand.

She bit through her tongue and could have lasting nerve damage.

Christensen credited the two scarves she had been wearing to combat the cold with saving her life.

McIntyre has been on trial before Judge Christopher Field, who had to consider whether a Lime Scooter was a vehicle under the Land Transport Act.

Because Christensen had one foot on the bus, he also had to consider whether she was a passenger or a pedestrian.

Judge Field said there was no record of the scooter’s speed and noted it would have been difficult for Christensen to hear or see, without any engine noise or use of the bell.

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He said McIntyre’s standard of driving was “below that of a reasonable and prudent driver during the circumstances.”

“He did depart from the standard expected of him and therefore caused [Christensen’s] injury.”

Earlier, Defence Counsel Alistair Haskett argued McIntyre had been made into a Guinea pig when it came to e-scooters, and the real problem was a lack of guidance or facilities for riders.

He noted that because e-scooters were relatively new at the time of the crash, there were no safety measures like automatic speed limits and warning messages.

Christensen, who was at the sentencing, said her case highlighted a wider issue.

“I think that the bus stop should be considered a safe place.”

She said the speed of the Lime scooter “pummelled” her and left her with blood pouring out of her onto the pavement.

“I woke up face down on the road … and I later learnt that I could have died. What spooks me is that I would have not known,” she said.

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“I cried when viewing the photographs, to select a couple for this statement … how can anyone be so reckless?”

She said she was still spooked, jumpy, bothered by loud noises and unable to concentrate.

McIntyre was sentenced to pay $4000 reparations to her.

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