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E-scooters have surged in popularity in recent years, but police forces up and down the country are warning parents against buying e-scooters for their children for Christmas.
Officers fear many people are still unaware that under the current legislation, it is illegal to ride private e-scooters in public areas, including roads, footpaths, pavements, cycle lanes and parks.
While it is legal to buy e-scooters, you can only use them on private land with landowners’ permission.
Under the law, e-scooters are classified as Personal Light Electric Vehicles (PLEVs) and therefore are treated as motor vehicles. As e-scooters do not have number plates, signalling ability and rear lights, they cannot be used legally in public areas unless they are part of the government’s e-scooter trial in 31 regions across England.
Roads Policing Inspector Claire Patterson of West Yorkshire Police says:
“We are aware of the current popularity of e-scooters, and there is a chance people may receive them as presents or buy them this Christmas. I want to remind owners and people giving them as presents that these scooters are not suitable or legal for use on roads or footpaths.
“They do not have the necessary features to make them both suitable and safe for road use, and using them on a footpath puts pedestrians at risk.”
There are also widespread concerns about the safety of e-scooters. Earlier this month, a 12-year-old boy was killed on his way to school after his electric scooter collided with a bus in Belchers Lane in Birmingham.
According to the Department for Transport’s (DfT) annual report – Reported Road Casualties Great Britain, annual report: 2021 – there were 1,434 casualties involving e-scooters, of which 10 people were killed, 421 were seriously injured, and 1,003 were slightly injured.
This is a significant increase compared to the DfT’s 2020 statistics, which recorded 484 casualties involving e-scooters, including one death, 128 serious injuries and 355 slight injuries.
Specialist personal injury solicitor Rebecca Brisley from our Plymouth team says:
“There’s no denying the popularity of e-scooters – they are the latest cool thing for kids to own. But they come with serious safety risks and many parents just don’t realise they are illegal to use on roads, pavements and other public areas.
“Given the huge rise in e-scooter accidents and fatalities, parents should think twice about buying their children an electric scooter for Christmas. If they decide to go ahead and buy their kids an e-scooter, it’s vital they make sure they are used appropriately within the law and that protective safety helmets are worn. With some e-scooters able to reach speeds of 30 miles per hour, there is a very real risk of serious injury – including head and brain injuries and spinal injuries.
“If you are injured by someone riding an e-scooter, you may be able to claim compensation, and you should make sure that you get the full details of the e-scooter rider and speak to a specialist personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.”
If you or a family member has been involved in an accident involving an e-scooter, Novum Law’s team of specialist personal injury solicitors might be able to help on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ basis.
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