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Call for new powered light vehicle class to improve e-scooter safety

e-scooters

Campaigners are calling for e-scooters to be legalised across the UK to improve safety.

Nine organisations have come together to urge the UK Government to bring forward legislation that would create a new powered light vehicle class.

The move is designed to ensure e-scooters, whether rented in shared use schemes or privately owned, are subject to high safety standards, with many hundreds of thousands of unregulated vehicles already in use.

The organisations calling for the new vehicle class are shared transport charity Collaborative Mobility UK (CoMoUK), the Centre for London think-tank, retailer Pure Electric, manufacturer Taur, WMG at the University of Warwick, research technology organisation Cenex, campaigning climate change charity Possible, the Major Trauma Group of trauma victims and the London Cycling Campaign.

Their call for a change in status for e-scooters comes as the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) found that 15 riders have been killed on UK roads

It collated records from the police, insurers and media for casualties involving e-scooters in 2021. The data showed almost 900 casualties, with 20% involving injuries to pedestrians and cyclists.

The Department for Transport’s (DfT) figures show that there were 484 casualties involving e-scooters in 2020.

Current e-scooter trials, which began in 2020, have been highly popular with more than 15 million rides taking place in the UK so far.

The campaigners calling for a change in the law say it would define e-scooters to a high standard of safety and help to lower greenhouse gas emissions from transport, as well as cutting congestion and repurposing streets away from cars.

In a joint letter to Government, they say that the UK is the only developed nation without legislation or a plan for it, and explains how new regulations would help to grow “clean jobs”.

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