Here at Ground Transport Media, your opinion matters to us and our community. We want your voice to be heard on the big-ticket items that affect your sector. In this community poll, we took a look at the safety of e-scooters (scroll to the bottom for the results!).
Last month (January 2023), TRL (who are a global centre for innovation in surface transport and mobility) published their In-Depth Investigation of E-Scooter Performance which said “Use of e-scooters is increasing and with it, the numbers of collisions involving the devices”.
It reported that there were 1,437 casualties in collisions involving e-scooters in the year to June 2022, up from 1033 in the previous year. Around 30% of casualties sustained serious injuries, and there were 12 fatalities in 2022 compared to 4 in 2021.
Stats from Statista Market Forecast predict that revenue in the E-Scooter-sharing segment is projected to reach $1.9billion in 2023. So it looks like there is a decent opportunity to make some money on the back of this booming new mode of transport.
They say “E-Scooter Sharing is becoming increasingly popular in urban areas, especially among younger generations. Low fares combined with a flexible parking policy make E-Scooters a competitive form of Micromobility.”
Despite the above image illustrating a nice, neat, tidy docking station courtesy of Lyft, as many of us walk through towns and cities, the site of an E-Scooter that’s fallen over and is stranded on it’s side, is an ever-increasing occurrence.
You cannot help but feel that councils who paint some lines for people to park up their E-Scooters once they’ve finished their rides, looks fine on paper, but have they considered the additional obstacle this creates for disabled people, partially-sited people or even any old parent with a buggy?
To support a ‘green’ restart of local travel and help mitigate reduced public transport capacity, in July 2020, the Department for Transport (DfT) made regulations allowing trials of rental e-scooters to be fast tracked and expanded.
In the E-Scooter-sharing segment, the number of users is expected to amount to 134.7m by 2027, as Statista Market Forecast reliably informs us. Therefore, we wanted to hear from our community of ground transport professionals to see what your take was on how safe you think they are.
We asked: Does more need to be done to ensure that e-scooters are safe for riders as well as the general public?
…and here’s what you had to say!
“As mentioned, E-Scooters are a menace to pedestrians, and all road user. The users ignore all road rules, speed, between vehicles, on and off pavements, dump the Scooters anywhere, they should be banned.”
Roger Neale from 888247 Cars Private Hire
“E-scooters should be dealt with in the same way as pedal cycles and mobility scooters. Children should be taught how to ride them safely, from an early age, just like we were taught the “highway code” for cyclists at school many years ago. Bring back the “Cycling proficiency test” and make sure everyone is aware of how to ride and take care. There are many adults using mobility scooters who are simply dangerous to the pedestrian public.”
“They ride all over the road as their C of G is so low the riders seldom have full control of these scooters. They are silent and can’t be heard when they are behind you or near pedestrians, children and those with vision and hearing difficulties. They travel anywhere across the full width of the road, many with no lights, no waring bell, etc. They never give hand signals and most have no indicator lights. When they in front of you, they are too frightened to look over their shoulder to see where you may be in vehicle behind them before they suddenly swerve in front of you to turn right I have seen them used to deliver drugs. They ride on pavements meant for pedestrians. They are virtually uncontrolled in my locality with children riding them onto school premises. How can some that have disc brakes, seats and speed capacity not be considered electric versions of a motor cycle that require a licence and insurance etc… The injury statistics need to be compared to cyclists on the road, who for the most part behave like adults. The users of electric scooters should at least be wearing head protection, like sensible cyclists. Surely the minimum restrictions on these things should not be less than a bicycle (Cycle Proficiency Test?) However one has to conclude they are very popular and will continue to increase in number just like mobile phones, all the kids will have one from age 3 upwards? (yes controls are overdue)”
“Whilst E scooter safety awareness needs to be addressed, so also does the legalising of private ownership for use on public roads. People who own and use a E Scooter on a daily basis is far more likely to competent in its usage in fact far more than an occasional hirer.”
Martin Everton from Reliable Cars
“More consistent direction needs to be taken.”
“I think that the safety requirements need to be higher than they currently are!”
“These e-scooters are using our roads. As such, they need to be licensed the same way as cars. They also need to be insured and as cars, the riders need training in the same way as cars, in terms of them using public roads. In the same vein, authorities need to confirm that they are only allowed to use the roads and confirm they abide by road traffic signs such as traffic lights and make it illegal to ride them without safety helmets and to ensure they have appropriate light at the front and back. It also needs to ensure that only the rider is legally allowed to ride, without additional passengers on board at the same time.”
“I nearly got hit by a rider, most of them don’t even where helmets!”
As always, we are hugely greatful to our community for sharing their opinions! If there’s a topic you would like to see featured on a future poll, please contact us with your suggestion!