E-scooters: Anne McIntosh calls for clarity on rules
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An estimated one in every 4,200 e-scooter rides ends in an accident, making the chance of injury 20 times higher than for any other type of motor vehicle, research from the personal injury team at national law firm, Simpson Millar has revealed. They gathered data on the number of recorded e-scooter rides and reported accidents involving e-scooters over a year, to work out an estimated rate of injury.
The firm then compared this with data on the chance of injury or death for other methods of transport.
Overall, while the risk of death from an e-scooter appears to be relatively low – less than one in a million – it is still nearly three times (2.6x) more likely that someone could be killed by or while using an e-scooter than while travelling on a passenger aircraft.
Simpson Millar’s analysis indicates that riding an e-scooter is less likely to lead to an accident than a bike, although the methodology used for the two reports was different.
Simpson Millar also recently gathered trial hiring and accident data from councils and police forces to determine where the greatest risk could be for riders and other road users alike.
While not all authorities were able to provide the requested figures, the data from those who did illustrates just how much accident numbers vary between each city and town.
Gloucester had the highest ratio of accidents to rides, with one accident taking place for every 2,914 rides recorded.
The Isle of Wight also had a high record, with an accident being reported for every 3,461 e-scooter rides, and Bristol wasn’t far behind with one accident for every 3,941 rides.
Avon and Somerset Police advised that they had recorded 85 accidents and 92 casualties in the last year.
Meanwhile the West Midlands had 71 recorded accidents over the same time period, while Dorset had 58 reported e-scooter accidents.
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Latest Government data revealed that 8am and 4pm are the peak times for accidents involving e-scooters to occur.
The Governmental e-scooter rental trials were set to end on March 31, 2022; however trials have been extended to November 30 2022 for local authorities who want to continue with the programme.
E-scooters that have been available for rent across the UK typically have a maximum speed of 15.5 mph and can be hired by those with a provisional driving licence, meaning that riders must be aged at least 15 years and nine months.
Rented e-scooters can be used on roads and cycle lanes in designated trial areas but must be kept off on pavements. Helmets are encouraged, but not a requirement when riding.
Simon Stanfield, Partner and Head of Road Accident Claims at Simpson Millar said: “With the rise of e-scooters on UK roads, unfortunately there are more opportunities for accidents and personal injury.
“Small wheels, a lack of mirrors or indicators, and how quiet electric scooters are when running can all contribute to potential incidents.
“And with no seatbelt, windscreen and just one brake, accidents could lead to serious injuries, as reports are indicating.
“We were however reassured by the new Government e-scooter trial requirements that came into force on April 1, which have a focus on improving the safety for riders, pedestrians and other road users.
“These outline that local authorities must now consider applying lower speed limits to new riders, introducing parking penalties, improving geofencing, running e-scooter safety events further use of technology to improve safety.
“In addition, operators now have to provide a minimum mandatory level of training for riders, which may include in-person sessions, and they will have to consider providing riders with helmets.
“Of course, these new requirements only apply to public electric scooters, not privately-owned ones. The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, has indicated that there will be a call to legalise the use of private e-scooters on public highways.
“While there have already been petitions opposing this, if it is confirmed, then we believe it is important that more safety measures are brought in swiftly, and enforced, to help avoid higher accident numbers nationwide.”
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