POLL: Should electric scooters be banned in UK?

E-scooters: Anne McIntosh calls for clarity on rules

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

A new Transport Bill introduced in the Queen’s Speech earlier this week will allow privately-owned e-scooters to be used in public. A Government spokeswoman said: “While riding a privately owned e-scooter on public land is currently illegal, we are considering how best to design future regulations and our Transport Bill will help us to take the steps we need to make e-scooters safer and support innovation.”

Electric scooters are available to rent in more than 30 areas across England and scooters in these trials are limited to 15.5mph and have safety features such as automatic lights.

Such safety conditions could be enforced on private scooters including speed limits and requirements for helmets and indicators.

The use of e-scooters has increased in popularity due to the increasing cost of fuel and Covid safety concerns on public transport.

However, figures from a freedom of information request to all NHS Ambulance Trusts by the Major Trauma Group show some 82 percent more ambulances were called to assist e-scooter related accidents in 2021 than in 2020.

This data also revealed that 173 patients were taken to A&E following an e-scooter accident in 2021, up from 124 in 2020.

​​All Ambulance Trusts that responded to the freedom of information request saw an increase in the number of e-scooter accidents attended.

Despite several e-scooter trials, private use in the UK has been banned up until now.

Anyone with a privately-owned e-scooter is legally restricted to private land, but they are still frequently seen in towns and cities.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People expressed concerns about the increase in electric scooters conflicting with the needs of blind and partially sighted members of the public.

Charity policy manager Moussa Haddad said: “E-scooters are fast-moving, operate quietly, making them difficult to detect, and are often ridden on pavements despite rules prohibiting this.

“Because of this, they pose particular risks for blind and partially sighted pedestrians.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the Government intended to “introduce legislation to allow the Government to regulate e-scooters in the 2022–23 session.

“The Government would then be able to stipulate that all e-scooters sold met certain standards concerning speed, power and lights, among other things.”

The Government spokeswoman added: “Safety will always be our top priority and our trials are helping us to better understand the benefits of properly regulated, safety-tested e-scooters and their impact on public space.”

Mr Shapps has backed the plan as part of strategies to reduce carbon emissions.

Trevor Sterling, chair of the Major Trauma Group and senior partner at the law firm Moore Barlow, called on ministers to introduce tough safety measures.

He said: “E-transport technology is very exciting and will support the UK in our efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

“A change in the law to legalise private e-scooter use would hold e-scooters to a high standard of safety and help to lower greenhouse gas emissions from transport, as well as cutting congestion and repurposing streets away from cars. 

“We must prioritise educating road users on the changing nature of our roads to keep everyone safe.

“It is only when all types of e-scooters are subject to the same rigorous standard of safety that we will see a reduction in preventable incidents and less strain on the NHS.”

The AA’s president Edmund King said: “With e-scooters and other forms of micro-mobility popping up more frequently on UK roads, it makes sense that safety regulation should come first.

“If introduced alongside appropriate infrastructure, e-mobility could help provide a positive shift in greener localised travel both for individuals and last-mile freight.”

So what do YOU think? Should electric scooters be banned in the UK? Vote in our poll and join the debate in the comment section below.

Source: Read Full Article