E-scooters: Anne McIntosh calls for clarity on rules
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There have been renewed calls in recent weeks to ban e-scooters following Kent County Council’s decision to end a two-year trial. Council officials want to prevent someone from being “seriously injured” by the vehicles, having rejected an offer to extend the trial.
Sarah Carter, 80, suffered a broken wrist, cracked jaw and broken cheekbone after she was struck by an e-scooter being ridden on a pavement in July.
The retired university librarian said: “Another elderly person could have quite easily been even more seriously injured or even killed.”
She called e-scooters “lethal”, adding that the council were “irresponsible” for the lack of infrastructure in place.
Jonathan White, Legal and Compliance Director at National Accident Helpline, called on the Government to address safety concerns.
He suggested that consumers would be more encouraged to use e-scooters if more safety regulations were introduced.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “We conducted an online Census survey of around 2,000 members of the public and found that more than a third of Brits strongly believe e-scooters are not safe on public roads and cause traffic accidents.
“That said, we found that consumers would be encouraged to use e-scooters if more safety regulations were introduced.
“Given these safety concerns, it’s crucial that regulation is put in place to curb the illegal and dangerous use of private e-scooters, as well as reinforce rules for rental schemes too.”
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E-scooters were originally introduced to offer an alternative to public transport and “greener” travel options.
However, the “rampant use” of private e-scooters is evading public authorities and causing a sharp increase in road traffic incidents and injuries.
During 2020, it was reported that 196 patients arrived to the emergency department of King’s College Hospital having suffered an incident involving an e-scooter, with 30 percent of those having suffered limb fractures.
Jonathan White said the lack of regulations around private e-scooters is causing concern but the silent nature of the vehicles means pedestrians crossing roads, are very vulnerable to accidents.
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He continued, saying: “If the Government legalises private e-scooters, regulations will be key to maintaining the safety of owners of the e-scooters as well as other road users and general public.
“Examples of regulations that will help are introducing a maximum possible speed of 12.5mph, helmet wearing to be made mandatory and two independently controlled braking devices to be included in the construction of the e-scooter.
“Regulations similar to those for drivers would also help, including an age limit, drink driving and handheld mobile phone use to be prohibited and lighting to be mandatory at all times.”
In 2020, 484 casualties were recorded in incidents involving e-scooters, with 20 percent being collisions with other road users.
In the first six months of 2021, 502 casualties were recorded in incidents involving e-scooters, two were fatalities and 17 percent of the casualties were pedestrians.
Numbers fell to just over 40 incidents a month in the COVID-19 lockdown from January to March then rose to nearly 120 per month in April, May, and June.
National Accident Helpline have received 258 claim enquiries involving e-scooters between October 2020 and June 2022.
An Express.co.uk poll found that 90 percent of readers believed that e-scooters should be banned over their safety.
Respondents claimed that they were a “menace” to all road users and that until issues are addressed, they should be banned.
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