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.”