Sight loss campaigners welcome government promise of new laws on e-scooters

The Government is expected to announce plans in the Queens Speech on 10 May to introduce new legislation to regulate e-scooters.

Speaking to the Transport Committee in the House of Commons on 27 April, the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps MP, announced that the Queens Speech would propose legislation to “regulate and then decide on the usage” of e-scooters.

The Government has been running more than 30 trial rental schemes for e-scooters in towns and cities across the country, but for privately owned e-scooters the rules are much less clear. Although e-scooters are lawful for private sale and ownership, their design and standards are not regulated and they can only be lawfully used on private land.

Thomas Pocklington Trust and Sight Loss Councils have been campaigning for strong safety standards both in regulations and in design of e-scooters.

Mike Bell, the National Public Affairs Lead for the Thomas Pocklington Trust said:

“e-scooters are here to stay and it is beyond time that the Government acted to regulate the situation to protect public safety and ensure appropriate standards. We therefore welcome the Secretary of State’s promise that the Queens Speech will kick off a process to do just that.

“We have worked closely with local councils and e-scooter operators to drive up standards in the trial rental schemes. We have been pleased that operators have responded to our concerns about safety and worked with us to develop acoustic vehicle alert systems, improved parking and training for users.

“However, the situation for the hundreds of thousands of privately owned e-scooters is chaotic in comparison. There are no standards for manufacturers, many retailers are selling e-scooters without informing people that they are not lawful on public roads and there is no requirement for training, licensing or insurance.

“For blind and partially sighted people and anybody more likely to be vulnerable to poorly used e-scooters, basic standards like lights, sounds and strict control over where they can be legally used is critical.”

 
parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament

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