‘Illegal’ e-scooters causing massive 91 percent spike in injuries as drivers warned

Police seizing e-scooters minutes after purchase says spokesman

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According to law firm Bolt Burdon Kemp, there were 732 e-scooter casualties in the year ending June 2021 – a 91 percent jump from the 384 recorded in 2020. Joshua Hughes, Partner and Head of the Complex Injury team at Bolt Burdon Kemp, said the research shows that more needs to be done to protect road users.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co,uk, he said: “The data contained in these reports is enlightening and supports what we are experiencing on the ground as serious injury solicitors. 

“That is to say that we are receiving increasing numbers of calls from people injured in e-scooter accidents.

“As borne out by the PACTS’ figures, the more serious injuries are generally sustained by e-scooter riders.

“This is because the collisions tend to be with conventional motor vehicles which pose the most danger to vulnerable riders.”

Around 27 percent of the injuries in mid-2021 were categorised as serious, with three tragically resulting in fatalities.

There was also a 130 percent increase in casualties involving pedestrians, 71 percent increase for cyclists and 57 percent increase for motorcyclists.

Bolt Burdon Kemp pointed out that it was “very likely” there had been a significant number of non-fatal casualties that weren’t reported to the police.

As part of further investigation, BBK used data gathered by the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS). 

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PACTS gathered data from the media, including social media, as well as police reports.

It found that 42.4 percent of e-scooter incidents involved private e-scooters, with 9.3 percent involved in the Government-backed trials.

Joshua Hughes continued, saying legislation needs to be introduced and updated to reflect transport habits of the modern day.

He told Express.co.uk: “Whatever your view on e-scooters, the fact is they are deeply embedded in our transport system, particularly in urban areas. 

“The current legal framework hasn’t evolved with modern transport and so, assuming the Government elects to legalise the use of private e-scooters, we are calling for a comprehensive overhaul that will provide the necessary protections to all road-users. 

“As it stands, we find ourselves in the rather artificial situation where the sale of e-scooters is entirely legitimate whilst their widespread use in public is illegal but as yet largely unenforced.”

The UK Government introduced e-scooter trials in mid-2020, and the stories of e-scooter related injuries and even fatalities have kept coming.

Whilst emergency legislation permitting use of rental e-scooters was pushed out, the Government has so far resisted wider reform to the existing legal and insurance framework that would regulate private e-scooter use on public land.

It is likely that any changes that are to be made will occur following the conclusion of the ongoing nationwide e-scooter trials.

There are more than 50 cities across the UK which currently operate an e-scooter trial scheme, many of which have extended the trial.

Private e-scooters cannot be used on public land, unless they are part of Government-approved trials.

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