E-scooters have caused more fatalities or serious injuries over the past year and several groups are now calling for a ban.
Trials of several e-scooter rental schemes began last July and London is the latest city to start a 12-month trial.
Under the trial, e-scooters are classed as motor vehicles and the same laws apply. Users need a driving licence. They also need insurance which is usually provided by the rental company.
E-scooter users in London must follow extra safety measures. These include a lower speed of 12.5mph. Lights at the front and the rear of the vehicles must always remain on and they must have audible warning systems.
Are you breaking the law?
E-scooter riders using a rental scheme are legal under current law. This applies in England, Scotland, and Wales.
It is illegal to ride a privately-owned e-scooter on UK roads. If caught using one, riders could face a £300 fine and six points on their driving licence.
London Police seized more than 500 e-scooters last month alone. These were private scooters used on public roads.
Since the rental scheme began last year there have been several accidents. Unfortunately, some of these were fatalities. All were preventable.
July 2021 – Junior Shay Alexander, 16, was killed on an e-scooter in a hit and run accident.
July 2021 – A three-year-old girl has life-changing injuries after a teenager on an e-scooter collided with her in a park.
July 2021 – A 55-year-old man fell off an e-scooter he had hired. It left him fighting for his life.
May 2021 – Jamie Smith, 6, a teenager on an e-scooter hit her causing a fractured skull.
April 2021 – An e-scooter hit a three-year-old boy. He was walking on the pavement with his grandmother.
October 2020 – Philip Jones, 75, fell while trying to remove an e-scooter that was blocking the path of his mobility scooter. An inquest ruled his death was accidental. His family have started a petition to stop the hire schemes.
The police will issue a fine and/or points on your licence if you break the law when riding an e-scooter.
Car insurance companies view drivers with penalty points as a greater risk. As a result, your insurance premiums could increase.
We have seen first-hand the devasting consequences of e-scooters. We are currently working with a client who has serious head injuries as a result of an e-scooter accident.
We do not agree with the use of e-scooters on public roads. UK roads are not suitable and the regulations are wholly inadequate placing road users, particularly the vulnerable in a dangerous position.
Helen Sharp, lead on the project at Transport for London, outlined its plans for improving safety.
She said: “Safety remains our number one priority and we will work closely with the e-scooter operators, London Councils and the boroughs to ensure rigorous standards are consistently met.
“We will also continue to work closely with all of our stakeholders, including TfL’s Independent Disability Advisory Group, to ensure that the trial meets the needs of everybody living in, working in and visiting the trial areas.
“This new trial will provide the data and insights we need to determine the longer-term role e-scooters could play in our strategy for a greener and healthier future for London.”
As current laws stand, e-scooter riders are not required to have insurance.
Riders must check that the hiring company has insurance. Anyone injured by an electric scooter will then be able to claim compensation if involved in an accident.
If an e-scooter accident has left you with injuries you could be due compensation. For information on e-scooter accidents or injuries contact NV Legal.
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