Cars 'biggest source of injury and death', not Lime scooters - researcher

Researchers say Lime electric scooters are still safer modes of transport than cars.

It comes as the Auckland and Dunedin councils place a suspension of the scooter trials while Lime investigates a sudden braking malfunction.

More than 150 incidents have been reported, 30 resulting in injury.

Dr Caroline Shaw of the University of Otago's Department of Public Health says we shouldn't write the electric vehicles off just yet.

"Despite all the publicity around injuries from scooters, cars are still the biggest source of injury and death in the transport system in New Zealand."

Thirty-seven people have died on our roads in car accidents this year. Newshub could not find reports of any Kiwis being killed riding electric scooters this year, but there have been a number of accidents involving collisions with vehicles since Lime's launch last year.

Dr Shaw says the scooters still need to be as safe as possible.

 "If a temporary suspension is what's needed to sort that out, then that's entirely appropriate to allow them to be certain about the safety."

If the suspension is lifted, Auckland Transport and Auckland Council say Lime will have to adhere to a new list of operating regulations.

These include Lime providing incident reports every 48 hours and meeting weekly with relevant staff to discuss Lime's response to any incidents.

"While we appreciate the amenity that e-scooters offer as an innovative transport solution, safety is not negotiable," said Dean Kimpton, Auckland Council chief operating officer.

Dr Shaw says finding car-less options will be a process councils will increasingly need to deal with.

"Councils are going to be faced with decisions… they need to take this as an opportunity to reflect on how they make these decisions."