Could Britain be the next country to say ‘au revoir’ to e-scooters after Paris ban?

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Road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, is raising awareness of the dangers of e-scooters following a landmark ban in Paris, which saw residents of the city vote overwhelmingly in favour of banning the controversial battery-powered vehicles.A staggering 90 per cent of residents who voted in the French capital were in favour of a ban on the rental scooters amid growing safety concerns, with 459 injuries and 3 deaths attributed to e-scooters in Paris last year.

Findings in IAM RoadSmart’s Safety Culture Report, which surveys over 2,000 UK motorists on opinions of key road safety issues over time, discovered that e-scooters could be facing the same fate in Britain, if public opinion is anything to go by, with over two thirds (68 per cent) of respondents being in support of a law totally banning e-scooters.

68 per cent of respondents also stated that the growing number of e-scooters on the roads is a threat to their road safety, with three quarters (74 per cent) of those over 70-years-old being the age group feeling most threatened by the device, compared to 59 per cent of 17–34-year-olds.

Responses varied according to region, with residents of London and the West Midlands among those who feel most under threat by the growing number of e-scooters – raising the question of whether boroughs of the capital and England’s second city could soon take similar action to decision-makers in Paris.

Not all of those who feel under threat by e-scooters are calling for a blanket ban on the machines, but are instead calling for smarter and stronger ways for them to be used more safely, with 86 per cent of those surveyed stating that they are in support of tougher regulation of the devices. This includes a law restricting e-scooters to cycle lanes only, enforcing age limits on those who are allowed to use them and introducing strict design and construction standards.

This comes after the latest Department for Transport (DfT) statistics revealed that there were 1,434 casualties involving e-scooters in Britain in 2021, of which, 10 people were sadly killed. This is compared to 484 casualties involving e-scooters in 2020, meaning casualties have almost tripled in just 12 months.

Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart, commented: “The people of Paris voiced their opinions on e-scooters loud and clear at the voting booths, and our research demonstrates that British road users have similar concerns to our French counterparts.

“We still await the Transport Bill, meaning there is still no regulation of these vehicles, which can go up to 30mph in some cases. Given the number of collisions we have seen on our roads and pavements involving e-scooters since they have been introduced, the concerns of the public are more than understandable.

“The government must act faster to regulate e-scooters before more injuries are sustained and lives are tragically lost. In the meantime, we would encourage those who wish to use rental e-scooters to ride with caution, vigilance and due attention, keeping themselves, other motorists and pedestrians safe.”

Survey

How much of a threat to your personal safety is the growing number of e-scooters?

 

Region More of a threat

(Count)

More of a threat

(%)

Less of a threat

(Count)

Less of a threat

(%)

London 205 83% 41 17%
West Midlands 132 74% 46 26%
South East 191 71% 77 29%
South West 123 71% 49 29%
North West 160 69% 73 31%
Wales 65 68% 30 32%
East Midlands 94 66% 49 34%
East of England 126 66% 64 34%
Yorkshire and Humber 99 63% 59 37%
Scotland/ Northern Ireland 91 53% 80 47%
North East 35 40% 54 60%