Electric scooter trials to begin in UK
Electric scooter trials begin in the UK from 4th July
The UK’s Department for Transport has set out a framework for electric scooter trials in the UK, laying out rules for riders and hire companies alike. The new rules will come into force from 4 July, and the first trial hire schemes are expected to launch next week. The trials are to be held in locations across the country with around 50 councils reportedly interested in hosting trials, with Middlesbrough listed as one initial site.
Scooter hire schemes were initially due to begin in 2021, but the date was brought forward to summer 2020 as part of the government’s mission to encourage more people to take up ‘active transport’ such as cycling and walking as the UK emerges from coronavirus lockdown.
During the consultation period, it was suggested that electric scooters should be capped at a top speed of 12.5mph, but that limit has now been raised to 15.5mph, which is in line with the top speed of most commercially available scooters. In most other respects, the rules for electric scooters will be pretty similar to those for bikes: no riding on the pavement (cycle lanes and roads only), don’t try to carry another person, show consideration for other road users and follow the Highway Code. Wearing a helmet is recommended, but currently not mandatory.
Commonplace across Europe and America
E-scooters have been commonplace on roads and in cities across Europe and America for some time, however the decision to trial in the UK comes despite a rising number of accidents and fatalities with the first UK reported fatality in July last year when the e-scooter collided with a lorry at a roundabout in Battersea, south-west London.
Figures from the US
In light of the new measures we look at the safety concerns for this new mode of transport and highlight what safety measures you can implement to reduce any risk of a collision.
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