LISTEN TO AMY GIANFRANCESCO TALK WITH LARRY WILLIAMS ABOVE
Amy Gianfrancesco says she'll never again be a "sucker" for Lime scooters after a late night crash on one this week left her with a fractured neck, a lost tooth and severe facial bruising.
The UK citizen has been in the orthopedic unit of Auckland City Hospital since the early hours of Thursday morning, after a passerby found her concussed on the side of King St, Grey Lynn, shortly after midnight.
Gianfrancesco says she is only now piecing together the events of the night, which she initially had no recollection of after waking up in hospital.
"We'd gone to play Holey Moley golf with my flatmates and had a couple of drinks. I'm always a sucker for a Lime, I love them - well, I don't any more. We'd gone to McDonald's, which I hate, so I went to go home," she says.
Gianfrancesco's Lime app history show's she jumped on the scooter at Great North Rd in Grey Lynn, and then turned to go down King St, on which she lives.
"I sort of remember it happening now, but I thought it was a nightmare, but I don't think so anymore, because I remember zooming down that street," she says.
"It's a really steep, hilly road and I came off just after the Bunnings and then was found by a member of the public unconscious.
"Luckily my flatmate had been frantically ringing me and the ambulance woman answered. So she was able to come and find me which was nice. I haven't got any family here."
Gianfrancesco fractured her C7 vertebrae, at the base of her neck, and suffered a concussion - now classified as a mild head injury.
She also lost half a tooth, and has bad scrapes and bruises over her face
Gianfrancesco has been placed in a neck brace and administered regular doses of morphine for what she describes as constant pain.
To further add to Gianfrancesco's predicament, she is planning to fly back to her home in Somerset next Sunday, December 23, after three years working as a nanny in Auckland.
Gianfrancesco has been told by doctors that she will likely be discharged either tomorrow or Monday, and her mother has arranged for special attention from Air NZ on the 24-hour journey.
"I was super emotional for two days, crying a lot, mainly because I wanted to get home," she says.
Following her ordeal, Gianfrancesco believes there needs to be urgent updates to the safety precautions around Lime scooters.
"Drunk people are always going to do silly things anyway but my understanding was that these Limes weren't left around the city for people to use after hours when they've been drinking a lot," Gianfrancesco says.
"They should come with helmets with an extendible lead. They should bring the speed of them down to 15km/h [manufacturers say the top speed of a Lime scooter is 24km/h].
"I was on a hill so I didn't stand a chance anyway. I've been on them five or six times before, but they've got very small wheels, so if you're travelling fast once it starts wobbling, there's not much you can do to control it. It's an accident waiting to happen."
She says that she has heard from doctors and others about the extent of the injuries these scooters have caused.
"I would exercise great caution if using them again. And to be honest, even if I was sober, I think I would definitely be finding a helmet to wear. I probably would never go on them to be honest, it would take me a while to get confident enough."
She told Larry Williams that she would like to see the scooters get locked after dark.
She says that she would like to think she was responsible, and thought that it would be a steady journey.
“I’ve come down our road five times before, and it’s a lot safer than the footpath, it doesn’t have the potholes.”
Gianfrancesco says that these scooters don’t really have regulations and anyone, sober or drunk, could be likely to have an accident.
Lime's user agreement makes it clear that any liability for accidents rests entirely with the user and includes a condition that specifically bans any alcohol or drug use that "may impair your ability to safely operate any product".
Each day, on average six people make ACC claims for injures on Lime Scooters - 392 in Auckland and Christchurch between October 14 and December 12 this year.