Currently reading: Private e-scooter safety needs more research before legalisation, Parliamentary report says
Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety has gathered evidence on both rental and private e-scooters
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2 mins read
18 November 2021

Private e-scooters shouldn't be legalised until there's a greater understanding of the safety implications of allowing their use, an interim report by the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACT) has concluded.

Their report, funded by the Road Safety Trust, has compiled evidence on the safety of e-scooters but hasn't yet made any conclusions surrounding their legalisation. A further update is expected next spring.

It's currently illegal to ride an e-scooter on UK public roads or pavements, meaning you can only use one on private land.

This hasn’t stopped people from investing in e-scooters, however, with The Bicycle Association estimating that around 360,000 were sold in 2020 last year. Data suggests that since the start of 2021, there have been nine deaths from e-scooter-related accidents and many more casualties including riders and other road users, such as car drivers. 

However, the government has been looking into whether it should legalise their use on the highway in order to reduce the number of high-polluting, short-distance car journeys and reduce congestion. Several countries around the world have already legalised e-scooters for this reason.

In July 2020, the government launched an e-scooter trial across the UK with around 50 local authorities introducing regulated e-scooter rental schemes in order to gather data on their use patterns and safety. 

However, the PACT has so far concluded that there are clear differences in safety between rental e-scooters and privately owned ones. Rental e-scooters operate through a smartphone app, making it easier to implement safety measures and track their usage, but it has highlighted that this isn't possible with private e-scooters, presenting further challenges to their legalisation.

The advisory council will continue to work with partners in order to gain more insight into private e-scooters with a focus on vehicle design, speed, e-scooter user behaviour and roads. 

It will release a final report early next year to offer further guidance to the government on e-scooter legalisation. 

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Torque Stear 18 November 2021

This is pretty pathetic, the rest of the world treats their citezens like adults and lets them ride scooters. The question shouldn't be whether or not they should be legal but how to maximise the benefit and reduce the negative consequences.

As others have said the fact that they aren't legal doesn't stop people riding them. That is simply because the current situation of an out right and total ban is totally disproportate to the dangers of riding an eScooter (similar to riding a bike). 

What we shuld be doing is making the infrastructure work for eScooters, which is pretty easy because the infrastructure is the same as for bikes. 

AVeryFatElf 18 November 2021

Painfully true. It's simple little things like this that make me question the direction this country is moving. Amongst other things, it's taking such a painstakingly long time to even reach this point. This needs to happen early next year to let sensible riders use their e-scooters legally. 

Bimfan 18 November 2021

Just like motorcycles and cyclists, the person most at risk of injury or death in collision with a couple of tonnes of car, or worse lorry or bus, is the scooterist. They must be kept off the road as they have neither the stability, manouevrability or speed controllability of these other two wheeled transport types. But, if they are limited to pavements, then pedestrians are at danger of becoming the injured or killed. They are also easily 'tuned up' providing even greater danger to the rider or hit pedestrian.

It's a big problem understanding how these can ever be considered a safe means of personal transportation, particularly given their appeal to the young and immature and with no requirement for training/testing, liability insurance or personal protection. 

AVeryFatElf 18 November 2021

Thats why people are pushing for legislation so that it protects the sensible user and even more deters younger/less sensible users of e-scooters. It's such a non-brainer and yet here we are a year on without any movement forward on legislation. 

AVeryFatElf 18 November 2021

Thats why people are pushing for legislation so that it protects the sensible user and even more deters younger/less sensible users of e-scooters. It's such a non-brainer and yet here we are a year on without any movement forward on legislation. 

catnip 18 November 2021

I wonder what the ratio of privately owned to legally rented e-scooters is?

There are no rental schemes in operation in my area, yet you see loads of these scooters out and about, usually ridden by young lads, zooming on and off the roads and pavements, around people and vehicles.