Written evidence submitted by James Darroch
Evidence of the proposed use of e-scooters in the UK
I believe that e-scooters should continue to be banned on public property anywhere in the UK for the reasons noted below.
My wife and I have personal experience of the ill effects of their unregulated use. Whilst in Oslo in September 2019 we were walking in a public space and noticed that there were signs forbidding the use of all wheeled forms of transport and wondered if anyone would bother to obey them. We had only just started walking in this area when 2 youths came travelling at speed towards us using hired electric scooters, one sped past us and the other fell off the scooter, narrowly missing myself but the scooter carried on and crashed into my wife who was slightly further back. My wife suffered a severe injury as her left tibia was fractured and her leg cut open to the bone. Even now in May 2020 she is only beginning to recover.
Our experience of Oslo is that it is a very dangerous place for both locals and visitors alike, with the unregulated use of e-scooters compounded with bicycles on every pavement and anywhere else that a pedestrian may go. We also spoke to a few tram and bus drivers and they confirmed their extreme unease at e-scooters appearing out of nowhere and their ability to quickly ride at 90 degrees in front of them – fatalities are certain.
With this experience in mind, I strongly urge consideration to a continued ban on these e-scooters. If they were to be approved, they must only be used on roads, crash helmets must be compulsory and a motor noise should be installed.
Despite being illegal in the UK there are thousands of people ignoring this ban and using them on pavements, almost never on roads, which is shocking. Deaths have already occurred in the UK despite being banned.
If users could be trusted to adhere to regulations then they could present positive benefits to mobility. There is, however, zero likelihood that they could be trusted in this way, as witness the mass usage of bicycles on pavements. Added to that, they are completely silent so, when being used on pavements the pedestrian has no chance that they are aware of the vehicle approaching them.
Please do not approve these extremely dangerous machines.