Mixing e-scooters with vehicles and pedestrians ‘a dangerous cocktail’

14.01 | 3 February 2020 | | 5 comments

IAM RoadSmart has warned that allowing electric scooters to operate on roads and pavements would be ‘bad news for road safety’.

Reports emerged last week suggesting the Government could soon move to legalise e-scooters, following a review into urban mobility issues.

According to The Times, the DfT is expected to launch a consultation in the next month on how to regulate e-scooters and ensure safety.

The consultation will suggest e-scooters should be treated like bicycles and be allowed on roads and in cycle lanes – with trials in a number of UK cities to follow shortly afterwards.

However, IAM RoadSmart says allowing e-scooters to be ridden on public roads alongside bigger and faster vehicles will put users in ‘great danger’.

While the road safety charity welcomes a long-term approach to transport planning by the Government, it adds new modes of transport need dedicated routes to be ‘truly safe’.

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “Electric scooters are simply not safe enough to be on our roads alongside full size vehicles.

“Mixing with pedestrians is also potentially very unsafe in shared areas. As with cycling, the answer probably lies in dedicated safe infrastructure for vulnerable road users.  

“Allied to that there is an urgent need for more rider training, information on protective clothing and clarification of e-scooters’ legal status.”



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Order by Latest first | Oldest first | Highest rated | Lowest rated

    Having had recent experiences of these electric scooters in Spain where they are really popular, I can see problems arising! In Spain from my experience users were zooming in and out of traffic, when you got behind one it was very difficult to pass as they travel at quite a speed. There was very little road sense apparent from the users of these scooters that I could see.

    These scooters were also being used along the footpaths in Spain, which was causing real problems on crowded walkways.

    I can only agree with IAM Roadsmart, I can only see problems arising on our already crowded roads.

    I am sure they are a fun item, and may well have their uses in the right place, but I think we need to think seriously about general road usage!

    Mike Hancox MD Colan Ltd, Warwick
    Agree (17) | Disagree (5)

    Regardless of safety aspects (and I largely agree with IAM), what are the benefits of e-scooters? In UK and most cities outside the USA, they will replace walking, cycling and public transport trips (resulting in negative health outcomes) but very few cars trips. And create hazards for pedestrians on pavements – when used and “parked”.

    David Davies
    Agree (17) | Disagree (10)

    Rule 66 of The Highway code gives the following advice on use of the bell ” be considerate of other road users, particularly blind and partially sighted pedestrians. Let them know you are there when necessary, for example, by ringing your bell if you have one. It is recommended that a bell be fitted”.

    John Doyle
    Agree (16) | Disagree (0)

    If limited to 15.5mph they can effectively be treated the same as cyclists. The risks cyclists face relate to the way some cyclists behave and the way some motorists behave. Leading to co-exist is the answer!

    Could lead to a healthy discussion about different styles of cycling / scootering, use of the bell to alert presence not frighten (no advice in the Highway Code), and what styles might be more appropriate for the pavement v the road.

    Over 15.5 mph leads into licenses, registration numbers and third party insurance.

    Ben Graham, Reading
    Agree (10) | Disagree (4)

    “However, IAM RoadSmart says allowing e-scooters to be ridden on public roads alongside bigger and faster vehicles will put users in ‘great danger’.”

    That’s simple. Reduce how much “faster” the vehicles are. If vehicles are too big and fast for electric scooters then they are also too big and fast for pedestrians and cyclists. Once again we see “motoring exceptionalism”.

    Rod King, Lymm
    Agree (17) | Disagree (25)

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