Family and loved ones of the man who died in a scooter crash over the weekend are hoping to ban them.
Police say 26-year-old Brady Gaulke, turned into the roadway and into the path of an SUV, critically injuring him Thursday night.
Images of Gaulke capture his adventurous spirit, his girlfriend says he had a love for living, running obstacle course races, and helping others.
She and his family are now fighting to ban scooters from the streets of Nashville.
“It’s a prime example of what could be avoided if we didn’t have these damn scooters polluting our town,” former Councilman Adam Dread told News 2.
Dread, a veteran attorney, is running for an at-large Metro Council seat and he’s focusing on the single issue of getting rid of scooters in Nashville.
“There’s no safety enforced, they don’t have to wear helmets, they don’t have to have insurance and they are driving on the sidewalks which according to the rule, not the law, they are not supposed to do,” he said.
Scooter riders are required to follow laws applicable to bicycles being operated on a roadway
“Make sure that you are wearing a helmet, if you are going to ride in the street you have to adhere as if you are a motor vehicle or a bicyclist and if you are going to be on the sidewalk you have to realize that you can’t be on the sidewalk if you are in a business district so as we are seeing the weather warm up we are seeing a lot more people using our roadways so we just want to make sure everyone is being safe,” Arriale Tabson with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office told News 2.
She adds that there is also a top weight of 170 pounds for the scooters and that they are only supposed to be operated at a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour.
The Nashville Fire Department reports 74 scooter-related injury transports for the first four months of 2019, with 43 in April alone.
“Over 45-percent of the people hospitalized for scooter injuries are for head trauma, that’s a big number,” stated Dread.
He says he has talked with Gaulke’s mother, who tells us that the trauma team doesn’t believe a helmet would have helped her son.
“She wants to get on board with getting rid of these things once and for all,” said Dread.
In addition to the safety concerns, Dread states a list of reasons why he wants the scooters off the streets describing them as an invasive species.
“Let’s just end it. You know, it doesn’t help our tourism. People aren’t coming to Nashville to ride scooters. They see one, they’ve got a few drinks in them, they look cute and fun, they get on one and either hurt themselves or somebody else,” Dread explained.
If elected, Dread says he will file legislation to ban the electric scooters on his first day.
“I know I can do something. I’ve done it before, I’ll do it again,” said Dread.
Brady just graduated last year from the University at Buffalo and made the move to Nashville where he worked as a physical therapist of Star Physical Therapy.
They released a statement to News 2 saying, “We are deeply saddened by the death of Brady Gaulke, DPT, a physical therapist and cherished member of the Star Physical Therapy family. His passing represents an enormous personal loss to each and every one of us. Brady will always be remembered as one who cared deeply about all of his patients. his desire was to be excellent in all that he did in the field of physical therapy. Our most heartfelt condolences, thoughts, and prayers go to Brady’s family. Star was blessed to have Brady as a member of our family.”
A GoFundMe has been started by Brady’s girlfriend to support his medical expenses, memorial services, and a foundation to raise awareness for brain trauma.
The family also posted a petition on Change.org to ban scooters in Nashville, saying:
Scooters were first brought into Nashville in 2018 without Metro permission. The city impounded the scooters. After several scooter companies threatened litigation against the city, the scooter companies and Metro agreed to examine the use of scooters more closely and create regulations. During public meetings legitimate concerns were raised regarding safety and enforcement, among other things. Council moved forward anyway. Today, there are believed to be seven companies operating in Nashville, with thousands of scooters on the streets. Now the scooter companies want to expand again.
There have been countless accidents and injuries to scooter drivers and pedestrians alike including, most recently, the fatal injury of a 26-year-old Nashvillian, Brian Gaulke. Scooters are not properly regulated, there are ineffective rules in place and the rules that are in place are not being followed or enforced. Metro Police Department is currently underfunded and does not have the manpower to enforce the scooter violations. Scooters are a nuisance and a hazard. Metro council has acted irresponsibly in permitting the scooters on our streets without the ability to enforce the rules. The Scooter companies have shown no respect for our city, our rules, or the safety of our citizens including, most especially, our disabled citizens. Often downtown pedestrians are forced to navigate around a pile of scooters littering the already crowded city sidewalks.
Major injuries, including brain injuries, have been documented by ER staff, and now a life has been lost. Is not one enough? Please help me send a message to my/our city to ban the use of electric scooters.