London Sight Loss Councils host e-scooter safety event

London Sight Loss Council (SLC) invited blind and partially sighted people and the wider public to an event on Wednesday 6 April to discuss key issues and concerns regarding London’s e-scooter trials.

The UK’s largest e-scooter trial has grown significantly over eight months with six times the number of e-scooters now operating compared to launch.

With representatives from e-scooter providers – Dott, Lime and Tier, TfL and the Met police, the event allowed attendees to learn more about different e-scooter safety features, how to report an issue and the progress of the London trials, and discussed the impact on blind and partially sighted pedestrians in the capital.

Catch up on the event here:

Jacqui Thomas, Sight Loss Council Engagement Manager (London), said:

“This event follows the news that three leading e-scooter operators (Tier, Lime, Dott) are coming together to create a consistent audio vehicle alert system (AVAS). Introducing a universal sound could help improve safety across the entire e-scooter industry, helping road users, particularly blind and partially sighted people, identify an approaching e-scooter.”

“Sight Loss Councils have played a key role in the call for the introduction of AVAS and led the research into how these should sound.”

Haren Thillainathan, London Sight Loss Council member, said:

“E-scooters have the potential to be part of a more sustainable and low carbon transport future. Unfortunately, irresponsible use of them presents a significant danger to the public, particularly blind and partially sighted people.

“The London e-scooter trial will provide critical evidence and lessons on how they can be better regulated to ensure the safety of pedestrians as well as riders.

 

Tackling e-scooter safety

 Hal Stevenson, Public Affairs Manager for Lime said:

 “Safety has always been at the forefront of the (e-scooter) trial”

Duncan Robertson – UK General Manager, for Dott e- Scooter Operator said:

We are really pleased to be working with UCL world-leading research facility PEARL to research and develop an inclusive sound for e-scooters.

“We will be testing the AVA in real life settings. We are incredibly keen for Sight Loss Councils to be engaged during the testing phase.” 

 

Sgt Steven Wilson spoke about the obstacles to policing e-scooters in public spaces he said:

“The (e-scooter) trials have been an opportunity to learn. It’s better to get it right, then get it fast. There is still more to be learnt in this environment.

“More or less everyday we find e-scooters left on the pavement. It’s not a great idea to have docking stations on the pavement.” 

He thinks that with regard to private e-scooters the way forward is to:

“Regulate private e-scooters the same way e-scooters for hire are – delivering safety across the board.”

 

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