A leading road safety group has called on the UK government to “come together” and take immediate action to reduce the illegal use of private electric scooters on public roads.
The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS), an independent charity that advises MPs, made the call in a recently published report on the safety of private electric scooters in the UK.
At present, although the sale of private electric scooters is legal in the UK, they can only be used on private land and it is illegal to use them on public roads. The only electric scooters that can be driven on public roads in the UK are those used in government approved rental trial schemes. Despite this, it is estimated that there are over a million private electric scooters currently in the UK.
Are electric scooters legal in the UK?
The Transport Select Committee has recommended privatizing private use of e-scooters, but it will be up to the Department of Transport to come up with legislation. He hinted that he would create a new class of vehicles for electric scooters. PACTS warned that any new e-scooter regulations should be based on good safety evidence.
According to PACTS research, there have been 15 deaths involving e-scooters in the UK, 11 of them in 2021. PACTS says all of these deaths occurred in incidents involving the illegal use of private e-scooters.
Data also shows that 20% of e-scooter crashes resulted in injury to another road user, with 75% of those injuries occurring to pedestrians. A total of 38% of people injured in e-scooter crashes – the driver, in most cases – suffered serious injuries.
Notably, nearly 70% of e-scooter falls did not involve a collision with another vehicle or object, which PACTS says highlights the instability issues of e-scooter design.
PACTS Executive Director David Davies said: “E-scooters are a contentious issue and the risks to cyclists and pedestrians are increasingly apparent. The government should act now to curb dangerous and illegal use.
“Even if the government decides soon how to proceed, the legislation will not come into force until next year. They should take this opportunity to gather evidence and consult widely – which should have happened before the start of rental trials but was cut short by the pandemic.
In the report, PACTS says rental e-scooters and their use differ “in several important respects” from private machines, but said it is not possible to implement some of the sophisticated security technologies used by rental companies on private e-scooters. scooters.
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This notice was published: 2022-03-24 00:01:00