The government has indicated it is intending to run a public consultation to lift the ban on riding privately-owned e-scooters in public spaces..
Now, in the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) Injury Prevention Week, safety campaigners are pushing for competency testing and compulsory helmets for e-scooter riders if the proposals go ahead.
For the past two years, Milton Keynes has been one of 32 areas around England running a hire scooter trial with providers Lime, Spin and Ginger. But current laws say that privately-owned e-scooters are banned on all public land.
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APIL is a nationwide not-for-profit campaign group, and its president John McQuater said this week: “Up to three quarters of a million more e-scooters will be on the roads if riding privately-owned e-scooters is legalised in public areas,
“This is not just about the riders, as a quarter of injuries involving e-scooters are suffered by pedestrians and other road users,” he added.
“Those e-scooters seen weaving their way around city centres currently are from the rental schemes, which are the only e-scooters which are legal to ride in public areas at the moment. E-scooters are eco-friendly and fun, but the number of casualties in collisions has already shot up by 181% in a year.
“These forward-thinking measures could go a long way to preventing many needless, and sometimes life-changing, injuries and deaths.”
E-scooters in the rental schemes are limited to a top speed of 12.5mph. This should be the same for ones owned privately, say APIL.
“We are urging the government to enforce a minimum rider age of 16..And if someone does not already have a full or provisional driving licence, they should be subject to a compulsory proficiency test,” said John.
“It also needs to be a requirement to wear a helmet. Head injuries, along with broken bones, are the most common types of injuries in e-scooter collisions,” John concluded.
APIL quote a case study where a 40-year-old man was hit by a woman riding a privately owned e-scooter. He suffered multiple injuries and was forced to have almost four months off work.
In 2021, there were 1,359 casualties in collisions involving e-scooters.