Why you may need to re-think buying an e-scooter this Christmas.
The government introduced e-scooter trials in 2020 providing a fast and clean way to travel that eases the burden on the transport network. The purpose was to deliver a green restart of local transport to help reduce the capacity on public transport during COVID-19.
The use of e-scooters throughout the trial has proven to be an increasingly popular mode of transportation in the UK. However, there has been much debate on whether they are safe for pedestrians, e-scooter users, and other road users. Concerns follow after provisional data supplied by police forces in May 2022 shows that in 2021, there were 1,359 casualties in collisions involving e-scooters, compared to 484 in 2020 pre the trial- an increase of 181%.
The number of casualties involving e-scooters has risen by 181% in 1 year. This figure comes before the legalisation of private e-scooters sparking fear as to the number of casualties possible if e-scooters are legalised.
Road safety is of paramount importance when introducing any new vehicle onto public roads. Therefore, if private e-scooters become legal, measures would be required to ensure the safety of road users including- pedestrians, cyclists and other motor vehicle drivers. The government intends to set out strict safety conditions by putting in place regulations including maximum speed limits, lighting requirements, and mandatory safety helmets. This means that all e-scooters whether privately owned or rented will all adhere to the same safety requirements.
One solution to the risk associated with e-scooters is proper education. It is fundamental that all road users understand how to use and be around e-scooters. Driver training and subsequent courses could teach the rules around sharing the road safely with e-scooters.
The speed and distance that e-scooters are able to achieve also raises the issue of insurance. Both factors increase the risk of causing serious injury, or worse therefore, enforcing insurance could ensure those that are injured get the compensation they need. E-scooters are an up and coming mode of transport and we are likely to see private e-scooters legalised in the near future. It therefore comes that appropriate regulation is to follow to ensure the safety of all road users.
If you would like to discuss further with a member of our team, please contact us on 01745 536030 to see how we can help.
Written by Jade Liptrot, Trainee Solicitor