Electric scooters slammed as most Britons call for urgent ban
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According to a new survey, two-thirds of Britons do not think electric scooters should be legal on public roads, with a majority uncertain about their widespread use. A further three-quarters of respondents believe a driving licence and insurance should be a minimum requirement to use an e-scooter.
The research comes after a number of high-profile incidents in which e-scooter riders caused accidents, with the number of deaths from e-scooter accidents tripling in the last 12 months.
Government statistics reveal there were 1,349 crashes between June 2021 and 2022 involving e-scooters, compared with 978 crashes the year before.
Data from the Department for Transport found that electric scooter users are around three times more likely to get hurt compared to cyclists.
The survey questioned 2,000 Britons and found that 63 percent said e-scooters should be banned from public roads.
Jonathan White, Legal and Compliance Director at National Accident Helpline, commented on the data, saying the public is naturally worried about the vehicles.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “E-scooters are an increasingly important part of the UK’s transport portfolio.
“They are a good cheap form of transport which have significant environmental benefits. The reality though is they can be dangerous.
“Not only does the lack of regulation around private e-scooters cause concern but the silent nature of the vehicles means pedestrians crossing roads, are very vulnerable to accidents.
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“Our survey shows that requirements for driving licences and insurance are key to restoring confidence.”
Currently, people can only use e-scooters on private land, unless they are part of Government-backed trials, which can be seen in numerous major cities.
It is illegal for people to ride them on public roads, on pavements, in cycle lanes and in pedestrian-only areas, unless they are involved in trials.
Before renting any scooters as part of the trials, they must confirm that they hold a valid full or provisional driving licence, usually through the associated app.
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Trials are taking place in more than 35 areas up and down the country, with major cities like London seeing a number of trials across its boroughs.
Mr White continued, saying that there are growing concerns around the safety of e-scooters in the UK, especially with trials being extended.
It is vital that people know the law and understand whether they are eligible to make a claim if an accident occurs or is not their fault.
He added: “Education is key and the Department of Transport should make it clear to the public that it is illegal to use a private e-scooter on public roads and in almost all public places in the UK, and that they could incur fines and penalties if caught.
“The Department of Transport should also take action against retailers which fail to properly inform customers of the risks and regulations around the use of private e-scooters.
“They should be prepared to cooperate with police in taking enforcement action against illegal and unsafe use of private e-scooters.”
Government guidance states that riders should wear a cycle helmet when using an e-scooter.
While they are not a legal requirement, they are recommended by experts and most e-scooter companies.
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