Sight Loss Councils responds to shocking e-scooter safety stats

Trials of rental e-scooters in England have resulted in hundreds of injuries and over 1,000 complaints, according to an ITV Tonight investigation. Sight Loss Councils, which advocate for blind and partially sighted people across the UK, responds to the shocking findings which come as no surprise.

The programme ‘E-scooters: Britain’s new road rage’ airs tonight (Thursday 20 May) at 7.30pm.  

Freedom of information requests by ITV as part of its investigation have uncovered more than 210 injuries, 1,100 complaints, 25 collisions and 805 incidents involving e-scooters reported to local authorities. But the most frequent complaints were around the irresponsible parking of e-scooters. This is an area Sight Loss Councils’ #StreetsForAll campaign is focused to raise awareness of the dangers and improve e-scooter safety.  E-scooters dumped on pavements cause dangerous trip hazards and obstructions for disabled pedestrians.

Rhi, a visually impaired graduate from Cambridge says they are having an anxiety-inducing impact on her commute to work. Speaking about e-scooters parked outside Cambridge Station, Rhi said: “They’re just left all about the pavement right by a busy road!”

Learn more about Rhi’s experiences here.

Sight Loss Councils are deeply concerned by the findings of ITV Tonight’s investigation. E-scooter operators and local authorities need to address these concerns urgently and put in measures to increase safety. Sight Loss Councils are calling for:

Mandatory on-road parking bays
A reduction to the 15.5mph speed limit
The installation of sound-emitting devices
Geotagging to prevent pavement use

Mike Bell, National Public Affairs Lead for Sight Loss Councils said: “Whilst many operators and local councils have been working positively with us to try and improve the safety of e-scooters, in too many areas this has not yet been enough.

“This investigation by ITV Tonight should be a wake-up call to all e-scooter operators and the Government that the trials have not been the triumph that many make them out to be.”

The #StreetsForAll campaign is asking members of the public to share photos and videos of badly parked e-scooters to raise awareness of the dangers. These images will then be shared with e-scooter operators. Find out more about the #StreetsForAll campaign here.

E-scooter trials in Sight Loss Council areas include:Birmingham, Bristol, Gloucestershire, Liverpool, London (due to start 7 June), Newcastle, Salford, York.

Publication date: 20 May 2021

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