E-scooter casualties in London soar by 570% as number of pedestrians hurt DOUBLES in a year – putting pressure on Sadiq Khan over rental trial scheme
- Riders injured in collisions in the capital leapt from 27 in 2019 to 181 in 2020
- The number of pedestrians hurt by e-scooters doubled over the same period
- It went from 13 to 26, a Freedom of Information legislation has revealed
E-scooter casualties in London soared by more than 570 per cent in just a year – but the true increase is likely to be far higher.
Figures show the number of riders injured in collisions in the capital leapt from 27 in 2019 to 181 between January and November 2020.
The number of pedestrians hurt by e-scooters doubled over the same period, from 13 to 26, according to data released under Freedom of Information legislation.
In an email to crash victims passed to The Mail on Sunday by a pedestrian hit by an e-scooter, a Metropolitan Police officer admitted: ‘We know collisions are increasing, but they are still incredibly under-reported.’
Figures show the number of riders injured in collisions in the capital leapt from 27 in 2019 to 181 between January and November 2020 (file photo)
The car and bike specialist Halfords has launched a petition to have privately owned e-scooters allowed on public roads. The retailer, which has more than 450 UK stores, sells the scooters, with prices ranging from £90 up to £990.
The petition says: ‘Join us in calling for an end to the road ban on privately owned electric scooters.’
Posters have gone up in shops urging customers to sign.
Privately owned e-scooters are banned on public roads and footpaths, but trials are taking place in more than 40 areas across the UK.
The petition adds: ‘Any new regulations should deliver safer roads and ensure that electric scooter road-users behave responsibly and with due care and attention.’
A Halfords spokesman said: ‘E-scooters are permitted on roads in many European countries and in other parts of the world. We believe e-scooters can make a significant contribution to reducing congestion and making urban travel greener.’
The force has recently cracked down on illegal e-scooter use in the capital, seizing more than 500 last week. Despite that, the sharp rise in collisions will put London Mayor Sadiq Khan under pressure after he gave the green light to a year-long e-scooter rental trial in six of the capital’s boroughs.
It comes as charities warn that e-scooters are endangering the lives of blind people, even forcing them to re-train their guide dogs.
Sarah Gayton, street access campaign co-ordinator at the National Federation of the Blind, said: ‘The mounting deaths, serious head injuries, broken bones and lives devastated or changed forever has to be a wake-up call to the very politicians who allowed the trials to start. When there are so many other mobility options available in cities and towns, why would you put your life at risk by jumping on an e-scooter?’
More than 70 per cent of the public have reported seeing an e-scooter being driven illegally on a pavement, according to a survey of over 2,000 people by the charity Guide Dogs. A spokesman said: ‘Fast-moving and silent vehicles such as e-scooters are always much more difficult for blind and partially sighted people to detect and thus it becomes very difficult for the dog’s training to be reinforced.’
Vaughan Rees, 79, who lost his sight 40 years ago in a car accident, was nearly knocked over by an e-scooter outside his local Tesco store in Warwickshire. ‘The incident has made me feel frightened and shaken up,’ he said. ‘Because the scooters are silent it gives me the added disadvantage of being oblivious to them. I have to heavily rely on my hearing, which is not good.’
Zoe Courtney, of the Royal National Institute of Blind People, said: ‘E-scooters are fast-moving, difficult to detect and are often ridden on the pavement, despite this being illegal.
‘We want to see the rules on not using e-scooters on pavements enforced, adequate off-pavement parking provided, and the appropriate street infrastructure in place to keep pedestrians safe.’
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