The government is currently testing electric scooters in many parts of the country. What should people know if they intend to use them?
As part of the government’s Future of Transport Regulatory Review. 32 cities are currently testing motorized ride-on vehicles but they are increasingly common on UK streets and sidewalks.
Is it legal to ride an electric scooter?
Despite the fact that electric scooters are legal to own use or sell. Public usage of one is illegal unless it is rented under a recognized government trial program. E-scooters may be used on private property. But public land they are regarded as motor vehicles.
This makes it illegal to ride them on footpaths, pavements, cycle lanes, and pedestrian-only zones.
If an e-scooter rider violates the law, they will face the same penalties as other road users. One recent case in Cumberland saw a rider fined and banned from driving for 40 months as a result of riding while intoxicated, and there are many others across the country.
Government-approved trials of e-scooters in a few UK cities are an exception to the above laws. On the road and in cycle lanes, e-scooters can be ridden. But not on pavements, and they can go no faster than 15.5 mph.
On the other hand, e-scooters that are available for sale to the public can reach speeds of up to 50 mph. Insured by the operators of the trial scooters, the government provides them for use.
Is it dangerous to ride an electric scooter?
Recent news stories have reported increasing numbers of incidents involving e-scooters. An electric scooter driver was killed in a crash in 2019.
One rider lost his life after hitting a parked car while riding an e-scooter in 2020. One rider died in a car collision after they collided with their e-scooter in June 2020, And in July 2021 a 16-year-old was knocked off his scooter and killed by a hit-and-run driver.
Helmets are not required by law in the trials, but the government advises riders to do so.
GOV.UK provides further safety information.
Additionally, pedestrians have been reported to have been hit by e-scooters, sometimes suffering serious injuries. People who are visually or hearing impaired, wheelchair users, and others that are vulnerable are increasingly concerned that e-scooters are creating danger zones for them.
There have been reports of e-scooters being abandoned and becoming a tripping hazard.
They found that e-scooter riders suffered some 100 times more serious injuries than cyclists.
Where do we go from here?
Considering these worrying statistics, there is a growing call for a review of e-scooter trials and their general use. The review, however, should include both the government trials and private e-scooters.
At Injury Claims In Scotland, we deal with all kinds of personal injury claims.
if you are a pedestrian or motorist who has suffered injury as a result of a collision with an e-scooter contact our experienced personal injury team via call or complete our online enquiry form.