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Lawyers urge re-think over e-scooter safety measures

E-scooters have been in the news a lot recently. They now operate in over 100 cities across the globe. The Government is largely positive about the impact of e-scooters on road congestion. There are also said to be environmental benefits. However, we have also increasingly seen more worrying headlines including individuals suffering serious injury or dying as a result of being struck by an e-scooter. 

Officials in Paris, France, have indicated that they may ban the use of e-scooters unless safety issues are addressed. This follows the death of a 31-year-old woman who was struck on a pavement by an e-scooter. It is understood that companies leasing e-scooters have been told to limit the speed, which is currently 20km/h , and to stop providing parking spaces on footpaths.

Call to reduce e-scooter speed limit

Paris's deputy mayor David Belliard said contracts for self-service e-scooter providers would not be renewed next year unless there was a "significant improvement in the situation and scooters find their place in public space without causing disturbance or additional danger". Mr Belliard wants operators to reduce the maximum speed to 10 km/h. 

E-scooters have been rolled out quickly. There are pilots taking place. However, we know that the take-up of e-scooters on roads and public places extends far wider than the permitted areas where the trials are taking place. 

We support all measures taken to increase the safety of e-scooters. It is right to acknowledge that our society is adapting to new modes of transport. However, with new modes, comes new risks. It is completely unacceptable for a pedestrian to be seriously injured or killed when using the pavement after being struck by an electrically propelled e-scooter. 

Government should consider further e-scooter safety measures

We urge the Government to carefully consider what further safety measures could be introduced to stop the rapid increase of serious injuries arising from e-scooters. This could include reducing the speed limit, education about where e-scooters can be ridden, enforcing the illegal use of e-scooters, introducing harsher criminal sanctions and insisting on mandatory insurance to protect innocent members of the public if and when they sustain serious injury. 

We fully recognise that e-scooters can have a positive environmental impact. However, this positive impact needs to be balanced against the risks of serious injury or death to other road users. 

It is important that e-scooters are rolled out in a controlled way, with a particular emphasis on safety. We also encourage the Government to learn the lessons from accidents which have occurred involving e-scooters.

Find out more about lawyers' expertise in helping people following road collisions at our serious injury section.

Paris has threatened to ban self-service electric scooters unless safety issues are addressed after the death of a woman struck on the pavement.”