A serious injury specialist at national law firm Clarke Willmott LLP who have offices in Cardiff has called for the introduction of tighter regulations around the use of e-scooters.
Electric scooters have become an increasingly common sight on the streets of several major UK cities in recent years.
Currently their use is legally limited to recognised rental schemes, but in the recent Queen’s Speech the Government indicated that the new Transport Bill will seek to make e-scooter use legal.
While e-scooters provide a safe and convenient means of transport for many people, the number of related injuries and deaths is on the increase. In London for example, crashes involving e-scooters rose by 2,800 per cent in the first half of 2021 compared to the whole of 2018.
Last year there were around 900 casualties from e-scooter accidents, some of them involving serious injuries, along with a number of deaths.
Philip Edwards, a serious injury claims specialist at Clarke Willmott in Birmingham, says: “e-scooter use is great on all sorts of levels, not least the benefits to the environment – and use of them should be encouraged, but in a responsible way – it just needs to be safe and there must be proper compensation for the victims of irresponsible users.
“As the Government progress the Transport Bill through Parliament, I am calling on them to:
· Consider proper regulation of the types of scooters permitted, their power, and those that can legally drive them
· Ensure proper resources are put in place for enforcement of the regulations – it is important that dangerous scooters or drivers are actually kept off the road
· Education will be key, perhaps the most important factor. The Bill should set out how drivers will be educated, trained or licensed and how to create a culture of use of e-scooters that is safe for all. It may even be that in certain cases, education is offered as an alternative to prosecution. Clarification should be given to where e-scooters stand in the hierarchy of road users under the new Highway Code
· The Government must deal with the thorny issue of insurance or other schemes for compensation. The statistics so far demonstrate that accidents will still happen, hopefully in lower numbers if other strategies are working, but no innocent seriously injured victim of an accident involving an e-scooter should be left without the ability to obtain compensation for their losses and to maximise their rehabilitation and recovery.”
Philip Edwards has been representing clients after life changing injuries or the loss of a loved one for more than two decades.
“The immense personal tragedy of these events never diminishes – whatever we can all do to support each other to prevent these tragedies from occurring should be done,” he said.
Specialist personal and injury lawyers at Clarke Willmott are long-standing members and supporters of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, and the firm supported Injury Prevention Week, which ran from 27th June to 1st July this year.