Paris bans e-scooters…could the UK be next?

A collection of e-scooters parked

With 459 injuries and three fatalities in the city last year, residents of Paris have overwhelmingly voted in favour of banning the rental of e-scooters.

In the French capital, around 90% of voters supported a ban, and according to research from IAM RoadSmart’s safety culture study, which polls more than 2,000 UK drivers on their attitudes of important road safety problems over time, e-scooters may soon suffer the same fate in Britain.

In its poll, more than 68% of participants stated they would be in favour of a law completely outlawing e-scooters.

The same percentage (68%) claimed that the increasing number of e-scooters on the roads poses a threat to their ability to drive safely. Three quarters (74%) of people over the age of 70 reported feeling the most threatened by the device, compared to more than half (59%) of people between the ages of 17 and 34.

Residents of London and the West Midlands are among those who feel most threatened by the increase of e-scooters, according to responses that varied by location.

Not all of those who feel under threat by e-scooters are calling for a blanket ban on the machines, but are instead calling for smarter and stronger ways for them to be used more safely, with 86% of those surveyed stating that they are in support of tougher regulation of the devices.

This includes passing legislation limiting the use of e-scooters to bike lanes only, imposing age restrictions on users, and establishing tight design and construction requirements.

It comes after the latest Department for Transport (DfT) statistics revealed that there were 1,434 casualties involving e-scooters in Britain in 2021, of which, 10 people were killed.

This is compared to 484 casualties involving e-scooters in 2020, meaning casualties have almost tripled in just 12 months.

Neil Greig, director of policy and research at IAM RoadSmart, said: “The people of Paris voiced their opinions on e-scooters loud and clear at the voting booths, and our research demonstrates that British road users have similar concerns to our French counterparts.

“We still await the Transport Bill, meaning there is still no regulation of these vehicles, which can go up to 30mph in some cases.

“Given the number of collisions we have seen on our roads and pavements involving e-scooters since they have been introduced, the concerns of the public are more than understandable.

“The Government must act faster to regulate e-scooters before more injuries are sustained and lives are tragically lost.

“In the meantime, we would encourage those who wish to use rental e-scooters to ride with caution, vigilance and due attention, keeping themselves, other motorists and pedestrians safe.”

New safety and technical standards were recommended for e-scooters last month, after the increase in deaths and serious injuries.

They included a 20km/h (12.5mph) factory-set speed limit, a ban on passengers and pavement riding, compulsory helmets and a minimum age of 16.

The recommendations were set out in a new report from the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) and the UK Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS).

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