New funding to look at e-scooter safety and casualties.

The Road Safety Trust has provided funding to The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) to assess private e-scooter safety and understand casualty data in the UK.

It comes on the back of new official statistics showing a dramatic rise in the number people injured by or riding e-scooters. However, this is believed to be an under estimate of the real numbers of casualties.

Collisions involving e-scooters increased by 38%, rising to 1,349 collisions in data ending June 2022.

A safer way forward

The project will investigate the extent of under-reporting of e-scooter casualties. It will also establish ways in which this can be improved and assess the DfT evaluation report of the e-scooter trial rental schemes. It will also respond to the Government’s proposed Transport Bill.

This new funding follows on from a previous funding project in 2020. This investigated the safety of private e-scooters and provided recommendations to address safety concerns.

Growing problems

David Davies, PACTS Executive Director says the increase in the number of e-scooters is huge. As he points out, “most are being used illegally”.

E-scooters can only be used legally in public as part of an official trial scheme. These are being run in a number of cities across the UK. But the government has failed so far to provide any real guidance  for police and local authorities on how to deal with the growing problem and safety issues surrounding the new motorised vehicles.

“There has been a dearth of information on safety, which PACTS tried to fill,” say Davies.

“During 2021 we published monthly updates on casualties involving e-scooters. PACTS research was helpful to the police and Department for Transport which eventually recorded 1,438 casualties, including 10 deaths. PACTS recorded 13 deaths in the same period.

“The Government has announced that it will prioritise e-scooter legalisation. We believe there is still much more to contribute to the safety of e-scooter regulation, and to the wider issue of casualty reporting for vulnerable road users.”

Helping government action

The Road Safety Trust said the additional funding aimed to help inform Government legislation and ensure that both the riders of e-scooters and those around them remain safe.