Headway – the brain injury association has given evidence to the Government’s Department for Transport (DfT) on how to make e-scooters safer ahead of trials which started in July to test their use on the roads.
The brain injury charity have made the following recommendations:
- When e-scooters are trialled the safety of riders and other road users should be paramount.
- To ensure the safety of e-scooter users, pedestrians and other road users, riders should be encouraged to wear a helmet.
- The speed of the e-vehicles should be restricted by a speed-limiting device.
- Tampering with speed-limiting devices should be a criminal offence.
- E-scooters should be fitted with noise emitters to warn pedestrians of their presence.
Currently, e-scooters in Britain exist in a limbo – available for purchase on the high street but illegal to ride on both pavements and roads.
But as part of the Government’s £2 million package to encourage alternative ways to travel and relieve pressure on public transport in response to COVID-19, trials of rental e-scooters are underway.
Peter McCabe, Headway’s Chief Executive, said: “We would like to see these trials being conducted as safely as possible. We all think ‘it will never happen to me’, but every three minutes someone is admitted to hospital with a head injury – the effects of which can be devastating and life-long.”
One of the suggestions made by Headway in its response to the consultation was for the Government to instruct e-scooter users to wear a helmet in line with the Highway Code.
Peter McCabe said: “We believe the Government ought to demonstrate consistency by informing users that they should wear a helmet as indicated in rule 59 of the Highway Code, which relates to cyclists.
“There is already a wealth of research to demonstrate that wearing a helmet whilst riding on the roads can save lives and prevent lifelong disability.
“A study published in 2016 found compelling evidence that wearing a cycle helmet reduces risk of serious head injury by almost 70% and fatal head injury by 65%.
“It is concerning to note that there is already evidence which suggests that e-scooter users are more at risk of suffering a head injury than cyclists.”
The DfT is set to use the evidence gathered during trials to determine if e-scooters should be legalised in the UK.Back