Government Under Pressure to Tackle E-Scooter Risk

Posted on: 2 mins read
Susan Vanden

Partner, Road Traffic Accident Technical Manager

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Recent weeks have seen more reports of deaths and serious injuries linked to e-scooters, and more pressure on ministers to take action.

Reports of serious accidents involving e-scooters are becoming, sadly, all too common.

Just last week, there was a tragic incident involving a 16-year-old who was riding an e-scooter when he was killed by a hit-and-run driver. Also, there was the very sad news of a three-year-old girl being left with life-changing injuries after being hit by an e-scooter in a park.

These terrible stories are just two examples of a much wider problem that’s prompting calls to the government to limit the use of e-scooters.

Part of the problem is that many of the people using e-scooters are young and inexperienced riders.

Parents of these children need to understand that not only can they be held responsible for the actions of their children dependent on their age, but also that they’re allowing their own children to be put at risk with inadequate safety equipment or road safety training.

There needs to be urgent education, not just in schools but also to the general public.

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What Does the Law Say on E-Scooters?

As it stands, it’s illegal to ride a privately owned e-scooter on a public road, cycle lane or pavement in the UK. But you can ride a rented e-scooter on roads, as long as you carry a full or provisional car, motorcycle or moped licence, and trials of e-scooter rental schemes are currently happening in different parts of the country.

Call for E-Scooters to be Banned

The National Federation of the Blind has urged ministers to ban retailers from selling e-scooters to members of the public and end the rental e-scooter trials.

Sarah Gayton, spokesperson for the group, told Sky News that e-scooters have caused many different problems across the country.

“We know in Nottingham that people's anxiety is a lot higher because of e-scooters.

“We know in Liverpool it's been called a no-go area for blind and visually impaired people because of the rental e-scooters there that are riding over the pavements and people leaving e-scooters everywhere."

  • "People are being hit, they’re being hurt, people have got some really serious injuries."

    Sarah Gayton

    The National Federation of the Blind

Police forces are also raising concerns, with Northamptonshire's Chief Constable Nick Adderley this week calling for tougher regulation of private e-scooters

In an interview with the Northampton Chronicle, he said: “Anybody can walk into a shop and buy one of these things, and some can travel up to 25mph or 30mph.

"I believe there's much more we have to do with the government to make sure regulations can be tightened on the way these scooters are ridden, where they are ridden and the enforcement of it.”

Chief Constable Adderley added that the number of e-scooters being sold is becoming a “real problem” and putting more pressure on police resources.

The government has insisted that safety is its top priority and said the trials happening right now will “help us to better understand the benefits of e-scooters and their impact on public space”.

If you've been injured in an accident involving an e-scooter, get in touch with our specialist Road Traffic Accident Solicitors.

We offer a free consultation, so you can discuss your situation with us with no obligation, and we can let you know we can help you.

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