Electric scooters as dangerous as off-road bikes say councillors

Friday June 23rd 2023


Last year The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) produced a report into the safety of e-scooters.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Stuart Sommerville

Electric scooters have become as much of a menace to pedestrians as off-road bikes which tear around streets and footpaths in West Lothian, councillors claimed today.

It is illegal to ride the scooters – which can reach speeds of up to 25 mph – on public roads or paths but that has not stopped the spread of their use.

Councillors called on police to speak to retailers but an officer talking to Livingston North Local Area Committee pointed out that most buyers sourced the scooters from online traders rather than high street stores.

Councillor Andrew Miller, SNP, said: “We’re tackling the off-road bikes, which is good, but I think we are aware from local people that electric bikes and scooters are now going just as fast as any off-road bike would and that is causing concern amongst residents. I’m just wondering where that’s heading.”

Constable Gillian Minshull told the committee: “As for the police, we wouldn’t pursue them along the roads; it’s very dangerous for them. You wouldn’t want to put the child, if it’s a child, at risk. With electric scooters I think it’s a bigger problem than just for the police. I think it’s the selling of them and the legislation that needs to be looked at.”

She added that it was an issue that she would take back to community Sgt Lee Brodie to look at.

Councillor Miller said: “Certainly some of the feedback is that it’s not just children nowadays but quite a few adults going really fast on these things.”

Constable Minshull agreed that many electric bikes looked like normal bikes but had high powered batteries.

Councillor Alison Adamson, Conservative, said: “We know that the scooters are illegal in public open spaces, pavements and roads, but surely there should be some way that the police can approach local retailers certainly and ask them to either stop selling them or issue guidance with each vehicle that’s being sold.”

She added: “ I saw one of these little scooters in Bathgate being driven by an adult, with a child as well and they were whizzing along the pavement. They had absolutely no regard for safety for anybody else using that pavement.

“I think what most people are feeling the frustration about is they carry on using them and there doesn’t seem to be anything stopping them. Is there something more that can be done locally? Something that we can actually take action on to prevent them from being used in these ways.”

PC Minshull said: “I think a lot of these products are purchased online and it’s legal for them to purchase. Then I think it’s a change of legislation that maybe needs to be looked at, which is bigger than a local police issue.”

She added that some cities in England were looking at ways the scooters could be used more safely but added: “It’s maybe something we need to look at as a bigger picture. Maybe we need to speak to local retailers if there are any.”

Last year we reported on a study into the safety of e-scooters has been published today by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), which found that e-scooters are significantly less risky than many other forms of transport on Britain’s roads, read the article HERE.

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