United Kingdom

Number of pedestrians hit and injured by e-scooters in UK was FOUR times higher in 2021 than 2020

New figures show that pedestrians were nearly four times more likely to be injured by e-scooters in 2021 than they were the previous year.

Department for Transport statistics showed that 223 people who traveled on foot in Britain were injured by the contraptions last year, with 63 of them being seriously hurt.

The average age of an E-scooter rider involved was 10 to 19, while 50 to 59 was the most common age group for an e–scooter crash victim.

2020 saw a mere 57 pedestrian deaths, with only 13 serious injuries.

Last year, hundreds of pedestrians were injured when e-scooter riders hit them. In total, four times as many were hurt than in the previous year.

The reported number of casualties in collisions involving e-scooters skyrocketed in the UK in 2021

In the UK, collisions involving electric scooters saw a dramatic rise in deaths in 2021.

The most common age of person involved in a collision with an e-scooter, not including the rider, was aged between 50 and 59

The average age of the person involved in a collision between an escooter and a rider was between 50-59

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps made his intentions to introduce new legislation concerning e-scooters in the Transport Bill clear, though the specifics are unknown

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps made his intentions to introduce new legislation concerning e-scooters in the Transport Bill clear, though the specifics are unknown

Currently there is no specific legislation for e-scooters and, while it is legal to buy and sell e-scooters in the UK, there are limitations on where they can be used

There is no current legislation for escooters. However, it is legal to purchase and sell escooters in the UK. However, there are restrictions as to where they can be used.

These figures were released weeks after the Government announced that it would introduce new legislation to regulate the use of e–scooters.

Despite being banned, private e-scooters can be used on public roads and pavements.

Legalized trials of rental escooters have been established in dozens cities across England to test their safety.

Trial areas like Merseyside, Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire had similar numbers of collisions involving rental scooters to those for privately owned ones. However, Northamptonshire only had collisions involving rental e-scooters.

According to statistics, 64 cyclists were also injured in e-scooter accidents in 2021, compared with 21 in the previous 12 month.

In 2021, 76% of all fatalities in accidents involving e-scooters involved the device were caused by injuries to riders or passengers on e-scooters.

Last year, nine people were killed in escooter collisions. All were riders.

A breakdown of the injuries that resulted from e-scooter accidents shows that 28 people sustained serious head injuries, 32 suffered fractures to their lower legs, ankles, or feet, and three had their necks or backs broken.

Types of injury Severity Number of casualties
Shallow cuts/lacerations/abrasions Slight 132
Bruising Slight 70
Sprains, strains Slight 57
Broken lower leg, ankle, or foot Serious 32
Other head injuries Serious 28
Broken arm, collarbone, or hand Serious 15
Deep cuts, lacerations Serious 13
Insomnia resulting from severe head injury Serious 12
Whiplash and neck pain Slight 12
Shock Slight 10
Other chest injury, not bleeding Serious 5
Fractured pelvis/upper leg Serious 4
Broken back or neck Serious 3
Internal injuries Serious 3
Multiple severe injuries, unconscious Serious 3
Multiple severe injuries, conscious Serious 2

The actual number of casualties in that period is likely higher because not all police provided complete data.

A spokesperson for the Government said that they extended their deepest sympathy to all those affected by these tragic events.

Safety is the core of our e-scooter trials. We want to protect pedestrians, riders, and all road users.

We have provided clear guidance and guidelines for both users and rental companies regarding helmets, speed limits, and precautions to keep everyone safe.

“While riding an e-scooter owned privately on public land is illegal at the moment, we are looking at how to make future regulations.

What laws apply to e-scooters 

Renting an e scooter is the only way you can legally ride the vehicle on certain public roads and other public places.

However, the vehicles could be approved to be used in the UK after a trial period.

It is against the law to ride e-scooters on pavements. Riders must be at least 18 years old and possess a provisional or full driving license in order to rent one.

It is also illegal for private e-scooters and other powered transporters to be used on public roads.

Relevant laws on e-scooter use include:

Anyone who uses a privately owned escooter or powered transporter on public roads is likely to be guilty of at least one of the following offences: driving a motor vehicle without insurance, driving a motor vehicle without insurance, and so on. You could be liable for a fixed penalty of £300 and six points on your driving licence

Driving a motor vehicle on pavements is generally an offense. This applies to all e-scooters as well as powered transporters.

With permission from the landowner/ocupier, powered transporters and escooters may be used on private property

E-scooters that are rented through the TfL scheme can be used on London’s public roads as well as the cycle infrastructure in participating boroughs.

These boroughs will set no-go areas in which e-scooters can’t be ridden. They will also come to a safe stop and go-slow zones, where the speed limit for e-scooters is reduced to 8mph.

Source: TfL 

“Our Transport Bill will allow us to take the steps necessary to support innovation, toughly crack down upon irresponsible usage and make e-scooters more safe.”

The new Transport Bill was mentioned by the Department For Transport earlier this month.

They intend to regulate e-scooters using its own rules, separate from those for bikes and motorcycles.

More than a million escooters are believed to be illegally on Britain’s roads.

A coroner said at Ms Hartridge's inquest: 'The scooter was being unsuitably driven, too fast and with an underinflated tyre and this caused the loss of control and her death'

A coroner said at Ms Hartridge’s inquest: ‘The scooter was being unsuitably driven, too fast and with an underinflated tyre and this caused the loss of control and her death’

Official trials limit machines to 15.5mph

A back-room industry can convert an escooter into unlicensed motorbikes capable driving over 30 mph.

Imperial College London researchers found that three quarters of scooter riders would fall to the ground if the scooter struck a pothole between 2.5in and 3.5in (6cm-9cm) and that the force of the fall would cause a skull fracture. 

Emily Hartridge, TV presenter and YouTube celebrity, was the first escooter driver to die on a British roadway in 2019.

A coroner found that she was riding her e-scooter too fast and had an under-inflated tire when she collided into a truck. 

A Voi e-scooter caught on fire in Bristol, days after it was banned from the London Tube.

One passenger was harmed by smoke inhalation after a machine caught on fire at Parsons Green underground station.

London Fire Brigade attended more 50 fires involving electric scooters and ebikes last year, more than twice the number seen in 2020.

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