It is Injury Prevention Week 2022 (27 June to 1 July). Organised by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), Injury Prevention Week highlights how we should all consider the safety of others in our daily lives.
APIL is a not-for-profit organisation that supports injured people and their legal representatives, and campaigns for harm prevention and better access to justice.
The focus for Injury Prevention Week 2022 is the use of e-scooters in light of the sharp increase in the number of e-scooter accidents over the past year.
Increase in e-scooter accidents
E-scooters have risen in popularity since e-scooter rental schemes and trials were set up around the UK. However, currently, only rental e-scooters can be ridden legally.
According to the recent Queen’s Speech, the Government is planning to legalise the use of privately-owned e-scooters on public roads. It is estimated that this will lead to an influx of up to 750,000 e-scooters on our roads.
As reported in a previous Novum Law blog, the number of e-scooter accidents needing an ambulance doubled between 2020 and 2021.
Tragically, last month, the UK’s first pedestrian death caused by an e-scooter happened when a grandmother was hit by an e-scooter rider while she was walking along a pavement.
Making e-scooters safer
Suggestions have been put forward to reduce the risk of e-scooter accidents. These include:
- Mandatory safety helmets – E-scooters were originally classed as motor vehicles, meaning helmets were legally required. However, in 2021 this law was relaxed for people riding e-scooters, meaning helmets are now simply ‘recommended’. Campaigners want to see the law tightened again.
- Stricter speed restrictions – Following a number of accidents, the Parisian authorities introduced an e-scooter speed limit of 6mph in busy areas. In contrast, the current government trial schemes in England and Wales only restrict e-scooter speeds to 15.5mph but there are concerns that the speed limit on private e-scooters can be tampered with to raise this further.
- Increasing visibility – Ensuring all e-scooters have lights and reflectors to make them more visible at night. Cars and cycles must have visible, well-maintained lights (and in the case of cycles, reflectors) on their front and rear at night to ensure that others can see them in the dark. There are suggestions that the same rules should apply to e-scooters to prevent accidents at night or in low-visibility situations.
Novum Law supports safer e-scooter use
Annabelle Turner is a specialist personal injury lawyer in Novum Law’s Swindon team, and has previously supported APIL’s ‘Rebuilding Shattered Lives’ campaign. She says:
“It’s both telling and necessary that this year’s Injury Prevention Week is themed around e-scooters. They can be a great, eco-friendly way to travel, but the number of accidents involving e-scooters is very concerning. We’d like to use this opportunity to encourage a closer focus on e-scooter safety. This involves e-scooter riders making sure that they personally follow key safety tips, but it also involves better legislation that aims to protect riders, pedestrians and other road users alike.”
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident involving an e-scooter that wasn’t your fault, Novum Law’s team of specialist personal injury solicitors might be able to help on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ basis. To find out more, contact us on Freephone 0800 884 0777, email email@example.com or complete our online form for a free, no obligation chat.
More information about APIL, including further details about Injury Prevention Week 2022, can be found on their website.