New safety and technical standards have been recommended for e-scooters after an increase in deaths and serious injuries.
They include a 20km/h (12.5mph) factory-set speed limit, larger wheels a ban on passengers and pavement riding, compulsory helmets and a minimum age of 16.
The recommendations, set out in a new report from the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) and the UK Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS), are in response to the growth of e-scooter usage and an increase in serious deaths and injuries.
Data published last year, showed that deaths involving e-scooter collisions have trebled year-on-year, with 12 fatalities in the 12 months up to June 2022.
The provisional data, published by the Department for Transport (DfT), showed that collisions involving e-scooters had increased by 38%.
Antonio Avenoso, executive director of the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), said: “To break the link between the increased numbers of these vehicles, and the increased numbers of injuries, we need some sensible measures to keep riders and other road users safe.”
The regulatory picture for e-scooters is currently mixed with considerable variations across Europe in rules on minimum age, maximum power and speed, use of helmets and other aspects.
The report authors would like to see common technical standards for e-scooters and recommendations for their use harmonised as far as possible.
Avenoso continued: “E-scooters can play a role in sustainable cities of the future, which must prioritise the safety of vulnerable road users, using modes of transport that are much less risky to other road users than cars, vans and lorries.
“So while we think e-scooters should go at a safe speed, and their riders should wear helmets, it is also the responsibility of cities to put in place the kind of safe road environment, with a network of separate cycle lanes, and appropriate speed limits, that is essential to
greater safety for all.”
The UK Government is running trials of e-scooters, which are currently taking place in around 30 areas.
PACTS executive director David Davies concluded: “E-scooters are a new mobility option in cities across Europe. In many countries, regulations are still catching up.
“PACTS and ETSC have set out the main safety implications for riders and pedestrians and the basic regulations needed for safe use.”
Fleet News March 2023