Are e-scooters too dangerous to be legalised?

Are e-scooters too dangerous to be legalised?
Transport for London (TfL) has called on ministers to speed up a review into the safety and legality of e-scooters.

E-scooters, which are illegal to drive on roads and pavements, may eventually be legalised for the first time after the Department for Transport (DfT) launched a review of legislation back in March.

But before any decisions are made, TfL officials – and the RAC – want questions over speed, driving zones and parking to be addressed.

TfL’s director of transport Michael Hurwitz says: “The law is out of date. We need the Department for Transport to accelerate their review to really put some safeguards around their use.”

E-scooters cannot be ridden legally on UK roads as they don’t comply with motorised vehicle requirements, including tax and insurance, as laid out in the Highway Act 1835.

If caught, riders could face a £300 fixed penalty and up to six points on their driving licence. However, the Metropolitan Police caught nearly 100 riders in London last week alone.

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RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “Clearly, much needs to be thought through before electric scooters can be allowed to use UK roads legally.

“While improvements in technology are providing many new exciting transport possibilities, the key to gaining public acceptance must surely be demonstrating they can be used safely.

“The convenience and affordability of electric scooters should not be overlooked, but the vulnerability of riders in a collision is arguably even greater than those on bicycles.

“Care needs to be taken to ensure the safety of all road users, including pedestrians and cyclists, as new modes of transport gain popularity.

“We know drivers who regularly have to deal with congestion in urban areas are often open to alternative forms of transport, so any move to review regulations to make this simpler and encourage take-up should be welcomed.

“Ultimately the aim of any review of transport laws should be about how to provide safe, reliable, convenient and cost-effective options while also keeping our roads moving for those who still require their vehicles.”

Safety is an obvious concern when it comes to introducing new vehicles to the roads.

There have already been a number of accidents involving e-scooters, including the death of 35-year-old TV Presenter Emily Hartridge in Battersea last month.

Copyright Press Association 2019. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.

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