E-scooter crashes caused hundreds of casualties and one death in 2020

·Political Correspondent - Yahoo News UK
·4 min read
 A man riding a VOI electric e scooter on a road in Bristol.
Electric scooters cannot be ridden on the pavements and the user must hold a drivers license and comply by UK law. The e scooter must only be used by one person only and not multiple persons. (Photo by Dinendra Haria / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
484 casualties were reported on Britain's roads in 2020 (PA Images)

Hundreds of people were injured and one person died in e-scooter crashes in Britain last year, new figures reveal. 

The government data, released on Thursday, shows there were 460 accidents – causing 484 casualties – involving the increasingly popular motorised scooters on Britain's roads last year.

It is estimated 128 were seriously injured, with the rest slightly injured. Those most likely to be involved other than e-scooter users are pedestrians and cyclists. 

Men were far more likely to be injured than women, and more than 50% of all casualties were among those aged 30 to 59 years.

Chart shows the number of reported casualties in accidents involving e-scooters in 2020. There is an upward trend from April to December, with a large decline observed in November.
Chart shows the number of reported casualties in accidents involving e-scooters in 2020. There is an upward trend from April to December, with a large decline observed in November. (Department for Transport)

The peak of most accidents tended to be around 3pm, and 60% of all e-scooter casualties were reported by the Metropolitan Police.  

E-scooters are viewed as "powered transporters" by the UK government, and therefore fall under the same rules as motor vehicles. 

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They must be taxed, have MOTs, be licensed, have a specification for construction, and those using them are legally required to have a driving licence. 

Failing to abide by rules for e-scooters can range from £50 for e-scootering on a footway, to £100 and six points on a driving licence. 

While the speed limit for them is 15.5 mph in the UK, it is possible for some e-scooters to reach speeds of up to 68 mph. 

Chart shows the number of reported e-scooter user casualties, by age and sex in Great Britain in 2020. There are more male e-scooter user casualties than female e-scooter user casualties, especially amongst those aged between 10 and 39.
Chart shows the number of reported e-scooter user casualties, by age and sex in Great Britain in 2020. There are more male e-scooter user casualties than female e-scooter user casualties, especially amongst those aged between 10 and 39 (Department for Transport)

At present, it is only legal to use those that are participating in government trials and it is not legal for an individual to buy their own e-scooter and use them on public roads or pavements. 

As with driving a motor vehicle, it is illegal to use a mobile phone or to be intoxicated while operating an e-scooter.

Earlier this year Shakur Pinnock, 20, died after a collision with a car in Wolverhampton

Pinnock spent six days on life support following a fracture to his skull and a bleed on his brain as a result of the accident before his life support was turned off. 

His mother, Celine, has called on the government to make helmets mandatory for e-scooter riders as users currently do not have to wear helmets. 

Also earlier this year, a three-year-old was left with "life changing injuries" in London after an e-scooter user collided with her. 

 A police officer writes in his notebook after having stopped an E-Scooter rider on Charing Cross Road, London.
Electric scooters are now available to rent in a certain number of London boroughs. This is the only way to legally ride an e-scooter on public roads or in other public places in London. (Photo by Dave Rushen / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
More than 500 scooters were confiscated in one week earlier this year. (PA Images)

Researchers at dash cam company, Nextbase, have predicted rising ownership in the UK could result in up to 200,000 accidents this year, with one in five users predicted to be involved in accidents. 

The study suggests riders are 16 times more likely to be injured than a car passenger, and 63% involved in accidents are new riders. 

Those that defend e-scooters say they are more environmentally friendly than other vehicles,and are a cheaper option than alternative forms of travel – although opponents claim they are dangerous and "a menace"

The UK is the only country in Europe that restricts the use of e-scooters to private land.

Earlier this year, the Met Police confiscated 500 private e-scooters in one week alone after officers began "active patrols" for illegal usage in the capital. 

When Yahoo contacted the department for transport on their response to the new data, a spokesperson said: 

“Safety will always be our top priority and the trials currently taking place in 31 regions across England are allowing us to better understand the benefits of e-scooters and their impact on public space.

“Evidence from the trials will allow government to consider how best to design future regulations and avoid the issues that other countries have faced."

Watch: Drink e-scooter rider attempts to use a motorway

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