All the stupid things New Yorkers are doing with rented scooters

Jean Kong did not know what a Revel was — until one of the scooters was within inches of her face.

On July 5, she was on her way home from the park with her 2-year-old daughter, Leah. “I was crossing Second Avenue at 47th Street when a guy driving a Revel turned the wrong way and hit my baby’s stroller,” Kong, 40, told The Post. “He knocked it down and Leah fell out. I picked up my daughter, who was crying hysterically. This guy picked up his scooter, stood there for a good 30 seconds . . . and didn’t say a word as I cursed him out.”

Then he took off. Kong, who lives in Manhattan and works in the fashion industry, filed a police report and took Leah to the hospital. “She got a little bruise on her ear and I think she is fine,” said Kong, adding that she herself is not.

“My child could have been killed and I feel guilty for not having jumped in front of her.”

Jean got off easy. Others have suffered broken bones and head injuries — and even been killed — in collisions involving the rent-by-the-minute scooters.

A 30-year-old Revel driver was in critical condition Saturday after sustaining severe head trauma when he slammed into a pole on Fairview Avenue near Wadsworth Terrace at around 4:30 a.m. in Fort George,  authorities said.

His 32-year-old male passenger injured his left ankle in the smash-up, according to police, who said both are being treated at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia-University Medical Center.

Last Sunday, CBS2 reporter Nina Kapur was killed in Greenpoint after being thrown from the back of a Revel. The day before, a man was left in critical condition following a mishap with his Revel in Queens.

Revel service, which launched in July 2018, has boomed during the pandemic. But so have accidents and complaints.

“Total NYC ridership is now at nearly 300,000,” a spokesperson said. “Over the past few months . . . we started seeing an increase in ridership as people sought socially distant, open-air methods of transportation.”

On July 10, two doctors at St. Barnabas Hospital in The Bronx wrote to The Post that Revels have “been associated with a large uptick in visits to our Emergency Department in the last month,” adding: “We recently received seven victims of separate accidents during one overnight shift.”

Even advocates acknowledge the challenges of riding in NYC.

“The streets here are very crowded with distracted pedestrians and drivers,” said Brad Berson, a co-founder of New York Motorcycle & Scooter Task Force. Pointing out that motorcycle riders need a specific license while Revel requires standard driver’s licenses, with free training optional, he added, “I would prefer if Revel training became mandatory.”

According to Revel’s website, lessons are booked through Aug. 22.

While scooter culture thrives in other parts of the world, from Rome to Bangkok, it’s still dicey in New York City.

“In other cities around the globe, traffic is less of a threat [for two-wheel riders] because of better engineering and better attitudes,” said Joe Cutrufo, spokesman for Transportation Alternatives, a nonprofit advocacy group.

Adds attorney Daniel Flanzig, who has represented six people injured in Revel-related accidents: “The infrastructure and the overcrowding on our streets — including people, cars and potholes — makes New York City uniquely bad for the riding of Revels.”

On July 16, Revel emailed subscribers, warning them to obey traffic laws — including not running red lights — or risk losing riding privileges. The company said it had suspended more than 1,000 customers over the past month.

It also reminded riders to always wear the included helmets, which Kapur reportedly was not doing at the time of her fatal accident.

“It is shocking that Nina did not wear a helmet,” Kapur’s friend Carolyn Blackburne told The Post. “Nina was . . . so cautious.”

Berson believes that Revel riders tend to take the 200-pound scooters too lightly. “They are easily abused,” he said. “We see groups of young people doing silly tricks, going up and down streets the wrong way, riding without helmets. When people buy their own vehicles, they have more respect for the vehicles and for the laws.”

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