Drivers and pedestrians alike may have noticed an entourage of scooters driving along the Civic Terrace, just north of Riverside Drive on Thursday.
A safety demonstration of Bird E-Scooters, hosted by Bird Canada, was given to new riders through a Safe Streets events.
Stewart Lyons, CEO of Bird Canada, said the company holds regular safety demonstrations during busy months.
"People in Windsor are super passionate about the scooters which is wonderful," said Lyons.
Dozens of interested riders showed up for the demonstration which ran from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Windsorites were shown best practices and safety tips for the e-scooters. The demonstration included a lesson in how to use the e-scooters, fundamental road safety tips for non-car users, safe riding techniques, parking tips and time to practice scooting skills.
For those who successfully demonstrated safe practices, free helmets were given out.
In May, Bird E-Scooters launched a pilot project in Windsor with 500 e-scooters available. Lyons said the response has been positive with at least 60,000 rides since it first launched, however the company agreed to hold a safety demonstration after complaints of misuse and stolen scooters began to emerge.
'Early activity' has calmed down
At the beginning of May, the company deployed about 200 e-scooters in Windsor for the first time. After a few days, approximately 10 per cent of the scooters had gone missing.
The company was able to track some of the scooters through GPS devices but some were located in surprising areas.
"There are a couple in the Detroit River," said Lyons.
"We're still trying to figure out how to get them out. We've gotten a few out using a hook — using our patented fishing technique — but there's probably a few more that we have to get."
Lyons said much of the "early activity: has calmed down.
Windsor Police were present during the demonstrations Thursday. Const. Jamie Adjetey-Nelson said officers have seen an uptick in injuries leading to hospitalizations.
"Right now from a police stand point, we're providing information on where and when — and people to be safe. People can be hurt and have gotten hurt," said Adjetey-Nelson.
Police are giving warnings for safety violations but Adjetey-Nelson wants riders to be cognizant of their surroundings and how to properly use the e-scooters.