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E-scootersWednesday 07 July 2021

E-scooters are 100 times more dangerous than bicycles

Electric scooter trials have begun in London this month – despite an admission by transport chiefs that they could be 100 times more dangerous than bicycles.

The 12-month rental scheme started on June 7, but a study by Transport for London (TfL), based on US data, found riders needed hospital treatment after accidents every 3.1 years on average, with many suffering head or neck injuries.

TfL said comparisons with the US were difficult, but the number of cyclists killed or seriously hurt in London was 2.7 per one million journeys “or roughly 100 times fewer injuries than expected in US e-scooter studies”.

Last year, the Metropolitan Police said the number of crashes involving e-scooters in London was rising sharply. More than 200 injuries to e-scooter riders have been recorded in the past two years, according to police, along with 39 incidents of pedestrians being hurt after being struck by an e-scooter.

Campaigners believe the true figure is higher, and called last night for the London pilot scheme, which follows 57 similar trials across the country, to be halted.

In May, a three-year-old boy suffered serious injuries in a hit-and-run crash, involving an e-scooter. The toddler was walking with his grandmother on a pavement in Feltham, west London, when he was hit from behind, the Met Police said.

He was taken to hospital, where he was found to have suffered two broken collarbones, and has since been discharged. The rider fell from the scooter on impact, but re-mounted and rode away without stopping.

In 2019, TV presenter and YouTuber Emily Hartridge died after her e-scooter hit a lorry in Battersea. At an inquest into Ms Hartridge’s death, a coroner concluded “the scooter was being unsuitably driven, too fast and with an underinflated tyre and this caused the loss of control and her death”.

Charity Guide Dogs has called for the sale of e-scooters to be banned, describing their use as “a serious safety issue for many people with sight loss” and urging “robust enforcement measures to prohibit their use on pavements”.

Sarah Gayton, street access campaign co-ordinator at the National Federation of the Blind, said: “It is absolutely shocking that TfL is launching yet more rentable e-scooter trials.” 

“It is very clear from other ongoing trials in the UK that there are inherent dangers to all pedestrians from how the e-scooters are being ridden. It is pure recklessness for the trials to start in London and we would ask TfL to withdraw from them.”

The scooters – provided by operators Dott, Lime and Tier – are restricted to six boroughs in North London. They are limited to 12.5mph, should only be ridden on the road, and riders have to take an online safety course.

Police have backed the trial, but Matthew Scott, the Police and Crime Commissioner in Kent, said: “We’re in danger of placing additional burdens on policing. Too many people are using them in places they shouldn’t.”

TfL said: “We’re determined to make sure London’s trial of rental e-scooters is safe and operators taking part meet the highest possible standards.”

If you have suffered a road accident that was not your fault please contact Swindon Accident Solicitors on 01793 425595 for a FREE, no obligation consultation on how to make a claim for compensation.


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