Electric scooters will be legalised next year enabling them to be used on public roads in the UK for the first time. A new Transport Bill introduced in the Queen’s Speech earlier this week authorised privately-owned e-scooters to be used in public.
A Government spokeswoman said: “While riding a privately owned e-scooter on public land is currently illegal, we are considering how best to design future regulations and our Transport Bill will help us to take the steps we need to make e-scooters safer and support innovation.”
In a poll that ran from 10am on Thursday, May 12, to 4pm on Friday, May 13, Express.co.uk asked: “Should electric scooters be banned in the UK?”
A total of 2,568 people cast their votes with the overwhelming majority, 89 percent (2,295 people), answering “yes”, electric scooters should be banned.
A further 10 percent (260 people) said “no” and just one percent (13 people) said they did not know either way.
Dozens of comments were left below the accompanying article with readers sharing their views on electric scooters.
Many had concerns about the safety of legalising e-scooters with username proudscot writing: “This is beyond comprehension. Disaster is bound to happen.”
Username Wiser1 said: “Yes definitely. Dangerous for pedestrians and other road users as well as the scooter users.”
While username The last Duke of Taibach. said e-scooters were a “menace to pedestrians”.
Recent research conducted by Nextbase, the UK’s leading British Dash Cam brand, found that e-scooter riders are 16 times more likely to be injured in a collision than a car passenger, leaving young and untrained riders vulnerable.
Bryn Brooker, Head of Road Safety at Nextbase, said: “It will come as no surprise that we have seen an increase in the amount of serious e-scooter collisions from our dash cam users…and we can only see this trend continuing.”
Figures from a freedom of information request to all NHS Ambulance Trusts by the Major Trauma Group also revealed that 173 patients were taken to A&E following an e-scooter accident in 2021, up from 124 in 2020.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the Government intended to “introduce legislation to allow the Government to regulate e-scooters in the 2022–23 session.
“The Government would then be able to stipulate that all e-scooters sold met certain standards concerning speed, power and lights, among other things.”
The Government spokeswoman added: “Safety will always be our top priority and our trials are helping us to better understand the benefits of properly regulated, safety-tested e-scooters and their impact on public space.”
Username C52J said: “If e-scooters are to be legalised, the Government must also legislate that they are registered, speed-limited, insured, subjected to checks for roadworthiness. The riders should also be required to take a proficiency test.”
Mr Shapps has backed the plan as part of strategies to reduce carbon emissions.
Some readers were in favour of e-scooters being legalised due to their environmental benefits.
Username Mrlumpay said: “It is about time they legalise them. They will cut pollution, cut congestion and make it easier and more practical for those with short commutes.
“The people that ride them dangerously will buy and ride them regardless of the law. Keeping them illegal only restricts the sensible riders who abide by rules.”
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Trevor Sterling, chair of the Major Trauma Group and senior partner at the law firm Moore Barlow, said: “E-transport technology is very exciting and will support the UK in our efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
“A change in the law to legalise private e-scooter use would hold e-scooters to a high standard of safety and help to lower greenhouse gas emissions from transport, as well as cutting congestion and repurposing streets away from cars.
“We must prioritise educating road users on the changing nature of our roads to keep everyone safe.
“It is only when all types of e-scooters are subject to the same rigorous standard of safety that we will see a reduction in preventable incidents and less strain on the NHS.”