‘Notable surge’ in electric scooter accidents because of ‘gap in regulations’

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New research from the Department for Transport revealed that over 230 pedestrians were injured in e-scooter collisions last year.

This is a four-fold increase in harmful accidents caused by electric scooters as trials continue to operate around the UK.

In some cases, people have been killed by dangerous e-scooter driving, with some local authorities cancelling trials over the risk of accidents.

Despite this, many road safety and sustainable mobility organisations have called on the Government to speed up legislation which would make them more widely available.

Bryn Brooker, head of road safety at Nextbase, spoke to Express.co.uk about whether regulations are needed to protect British road users.

He said: “E-scooters may be available for purchase, but using them on public roads, cycle lanes, or pavements is illegal unless they are a rental available through a Government-approved trial.

“With this gap in the regulation, it is unsurprising that we have observed a notable surge in severe e-scooter collisions among our dash cam users. 

“A dash cam is a useful investment for drivers as roads get more complicated – providing an objective record of exactly who is at fault if an incident does occur. 

“This recorded footage holds significant value, as it is recognised as evidence of liability by all UK police forces and major insurance companies.”

As part of the Department for Transport’s national evaluation of e-scooter trials in 2022, it analysed the success of the nationwide scheme.

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In total, between July 2020 and December 2021, there were 32 trials across 55 areas, with 50 trial areas continuing into 2022.

In this time frame, there were 14.5 million rental e-scooter trips, with around 23,000 e-scooters available per day across England.

Around five percent of e-scooter users reported experiencing a collision, with a majority of these not leading to any injuries.

Six in 10 e-scooter riders surveyed by the DfT said they were inexperienced, having used the vehicles five times or less.

The Government website continues to clarify to potential riders that using a privately-owned e-scooter is against the law in public areas.

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If they do use an e-scooter illegally, they could face a fine, receive penalty points on their licence and the vehicle could be impounded.

E-scooters are also banned on services like Transport for London buses and in underground stations, as well as being restricted by a number of train operators.

In April, Paris became the first major city to vote to ban rental e-scooters, with almost 90 percent of residents backing the vote.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo supported a ban, saying that the rental vehicles cluttered pavements and caused accidents.

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