Concerns Grow for Increase in E-scooter Accidents
E Scooter Accidents
There has been an extension by the Government on the official trial of electric scooters on the UK’s roads, which is now due to last until the end of March 2022. The official trial began in July last year and included 50 towns and cities across the UK as the government considers whether to legalise e-scooters on UK roads.
The trials are noted as being a positive step towards a more environmentally friendly transportation option. However, they have been met by criticism from some, with increasing concerns about the safety of these electronic scooters from the outset due to the level of speed they can reach and how easy it is to acquire one. A study conducted this year suggests that E-scooters could be responsible for up to 200,000 accidents. Tragically, in July 2019, YouTube star Emily Hartridge was the first e-scooter rider to be killed in the UK after she crashed while riding a privately-owned device in Battersea, southwest London, and there have been further reports of serious and life changing injuries being caused to riders or other road users such as pedestrians.
Current laws and restrictions
Under the scheme, It is currently only legal to use e-scooters on public roads – not motorways or pavements - when they are rented out from licenced hire schemes in trial cities. The speed limit has been set to 15.5mph, (restricted further in London to 12.5mph) on roads that allow cyclists and ridden by those over the age of 16. You are also required to hold a valid full driving licence with category Q entitlement.
However, there is still some confusion around the overall legality of the use of E-scooters, especially when there are no restrictions on how or who they are sold to privately. Yet when aware of the laws, many users have been found to ignore them, even with a threat of a £300 fine or 6 points on their licence.
Furthermore, whilst those renting e-scooters are urged to wear a helmet, it is not mandatory, which is worrying, as according to a recent study by dash-cam company Nextbase, e-scooter riders are 16 times more likely to be injured in a collision than car passengers. With the inevitable increase in e-scooter usage, this will no doubt further increase the number of accidents and injuries seen to riders and other road users. It is hoped that before any laws are passed, that further legislation and restrictions are considered such as compulsory insurance and registration and the use of safety helmets.
Road accident Solicitors
Even though there are still some uncertainties surrounding the e-scooter laws, or what legislation may be put in place after the trials finish next year, riders and other road users are still vulnerable to injuries suffered in a road traffic accident. If you believe someone else caused your accident, that resulted in an injury, you may be entitled to claim compensation. This could also include seeking compensation from a local council if a defect in the road caused your accident.
Our specialist personal injury lawyers have the expertise and knowledge to deal with all types of road traffic accidents. We will discuss your circumstances and guidance to make a road accident claim. Call us today 0800 731 7555 or make an online enquiry
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