27 July 2022

E-scooters: legalisation and regulations


Victims in accidents involving illegally ridden e-scooters face a needlessly troublesome battle for compensation, in accordance with a report calling for legalisation and regulation for the electric-powered vehicles.

The "Association of Consumer Support Organisations", whose members include important PI law firms and also cycling campaign group "Cycling UK", says that privately owned e-scooters 'will be part of the make-up of the UK's roads for the foreseeable future and we should not turn a blind eye'.

Road use of these electric powered vehicles should therefore be legalised and regulated, but with riders required to wear helmets and hold at least third-party insurance.
It is also recognised that these regulations may reduce the desirability of e-scooters plus it will be very harder to enforce such requirements across the country.

At the present time, the report states that only about 20,000 of the million or more e-scooters in the UK are operated through council hire schemes - these are only legal to use on public roads and nowhere else. However, the illegality of private e-scooters does not prevent claims being made by riders who are themselves injured by another road user’s failure to take reasonable care.

In addition, the report acknowledges that riders are disproportionately at risk, thanks to the e-scooters growing popularity with 'the young, the unlicensed and the uninsured' who are the ones that care less about how to ride and how to be safe. However, legalisation and regulation would improve the current situation whereby hundreds of thousands of people flout the law daily and put other road users at risk of harm.

The report’s suggestions include expanding the current hire schemes across the UK where currently only some cities in England are experimenting with such schemes. There's also a need to improve the process for collecting and then publishing more safety data. The building more cycle lanes to accommodate e-scooters in encouraged as well as devising a system of registration.

The report recommends a minimum age of 16 for riders as well as a maximum speed of 15.5 miles per hour for the e-scooters themselves.

We at EV LAW Scotland look forward to the new legislation being introduced with a focus on ensuring our roads are safe for everyone to use.


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