Denver wants more safety education after first scooter death

DENVER -- The city of Denver is pushing for more education about how to ride electric scooters safely after a rider died following a crash in the Highlands.

Cameron Hagan, 26, was allegedly traveling the wrong way when he collided with an oncoming car near West 32nd Avenue and North Eliot Street on Aug. 4. He died from his injuries Monday.

The memory of the crash will forever be burned in the mind of Christian Johner, who was riding on a different scooter near Hagan at the time of the crash.

Johner says Hagan tried to cross over to the right side of the road when he was struck by the oncoming car.

"Cameron had an open heart and open mind towards everyone," Johner said.

Hagan's death is the first scooter-related death in Denver since the pilot program began more than one year ago.

"This is not just a scooter issue, this is an issue for everybody," said Heather Burke with Denver Public Works.

Hagan's death comes at a time when traffic-related fatalities are on the rise in Denver, with at least 50 deaths happening so far in 2019.

"We want to ensure everyone is getting around our streets safely, so we'll be looking at different options into how we can educate people and that may include having the scooter operators fund an education campaign," Burke said.

Currently, people are supposed to ride scooters in bike lanes and on roads with speed limits of under 30 mph. There is a proposal heading to City Council to ban scooter use on sidewalks and have them operate like bicycles.

Burke says the scooters will shut down in ride-restricted zones, including the 16th Street Mall, Union Station and Coors Field before, during and after Rockies games.

Denver Public Works is looking into potentially shutting down all scooters after a certain time of night, and re-assessing speed limits, according to Burke.

"Treat them with respect," Johner said. "I mean, they're fun, no doubt about it. Motorcycles are fun too, but they're all dangerous."

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