The Increasing Concern Over Electric Scooters
Friday, 13 August 2021
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It has been predicted that Electric scooters will be involved in up to 2000,000 accidents this year according to Dash cam company Nextbase. Prior to July 2020, e-scooters were illegal for use on all public highways in the UK and could only be ridden legally on private land with the landowner’s consent but a number of cities across the country are currently taking part in rental trials which has lead to increased concerns about safety, not only for the riders but also pedestrians and other road users who may be injured in a collision. In June, a three-year old girl was left with life-changing injuries after being struck by a e-scooter and in July, a police officer suffered a broken leg after being hit by an e-scooter in London.
At least two people have now died in the UK after accidents on e-scooters and the number is expected to rise as more people have access to and use e-scooters on the roads. The current rules within the rental trial include all riders being a minimum 18 years of age and have a full or provisional driving licence with some places even being no-go zones for the e-scooters, wearing a helmet is advised but is currently not law within the trial.
During the rental trial it is compulsory for all e-scooters to have motor insurance – this is currently arranged by the rental operator but if the trial is a success and e-scooters become more widespread, it is not yet clear what, if any, insurance a rider will need.
With the search for greener forms of transport continuing, it seems unlikely that a ban on e-scooters will continue, but the balance between green transport and the safety of both the riders, other road users and pedestrians will be argued over by many for a long time yet with many people hoping that an increase in e-scooters on the road do not lead to more injuries or deaths on the road.