Micromobility safety charity PACTS recommends
March 21, 2022Legal
A charity focusing on reducing car accidents has recommended to Government that escooters, which are still illegal to use. Should be prevented from travelling more than 12.5 miles an hour along with criminalising the use of escooters on pavements. According to a new report out today. Considering PACT work with car companies enabling them to be exceptionally dangerous.
I wonder if PACT would return to cars to recommend such strict rules. E.G: _Scooter companies use geofencing to limit how fast & how far their scooters can operate. It’s time we made car companies do the same thing.
This is following other reports from PACT around safety and micromobility.
The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety have issued a report on the growth of escooters and micromobility.
Funded by the department of transport, PACT have laid out recommendations some of which are below.
If these recommendations are followed through it hugely affects the future development of micromobility.
About PACTS research. An awarded of a grant by the Road Safety Trust to collect data relating to accidents involving micromobility devices.
The result was to form recommendations for their construction and use.
The report gathered data of casualties involving escooters (riders and other road users) collected from the media, police forces and insurance firms.
The Charity PACTS recommends that the department of transport:
- takes immediate action to address dangerous and illegal private escooter use;
- undertakes a thorough public consultation before making any decision on the legalisation of e-scooters;
- commissions further research; and, if the Government decides to legalise use of private e-scooters, it should adopt regulations for their construction and use as set out below:
- maximum possible speed of 12.5mph (20km/h) - this is far too slow
- maximum continuous rated motor power of 250 W - makes it so under powered that really unattractive mobility solution
- anti-tampering mechanisms should be included in construction. Tampering should be prohibited by law
- minimum front wheel size of 12 inches (30.5cm) and minimum rear wheel size of 10 inches (25.5cm) - Sensible to have minimums but surely trust the judgement of the market?
- two independently controlled braking devices, one acting on the front wheel and one acting on the rear wheel
- lighting to be mandatory at all times
- maximum unladen weight of 20kg - Too light
- an audible warning device to be mandatory Like an ebike surely just a bell.
- helmet wearing to be mandatory- Is it for a ebikes or human powered bikes?
- riding on the footway (pavement) or footpath to be prohibited. This is utterly ridiculous to lump escooters in with cars all the time. It is cars that make escooters dangerous.
- rider age limit of at least 16 years
- carrying of a passenger to be prohibited
- drink driving, dangerous or careless riding, and handheld mobile phone use to be prohibited
- in-person rider training and third-party insurance are recommended.
PACTS report presents the findings into the safety of private e-scooters.
Evidence from casualty data collected in Europe and the UK informs an understanding of the extent and nature of injuries which casualties are suffering –
Head injuries are common and most riders fall from their e-scooter rather than being hit by another vehicle.
But is is car that are the lethal danger rather than being on the escooter.
These findings are supported by academic studies and crash testing which show how instabilities caused by an e-scooter’s design pose a risk to riders. PACT have also considered the risks posed to pedestrians and explain how e-scooters are not ‘just like bikes’.
The full report can be found here.
Private escooters and micromobility has taken off in the UK. With over a million personal escooters imported into the UK since 2019.
While they can legally be sold, they are not allowed to use on public roads.
In fact It is currently a criminal offense to ride them anywhere apart from private property. Like a lot of micromobility it is very much on the edge of the law. See our Technical article.
Late last year Ireland legislated escooters and other forms of micromobility. With a far reaching liberalisation of escooters and ebikes.
The UK escooter trails where people in 31 areas have access to 23,000 e-scooters for hire throughout the UK.
David Davies, PACTS’s executive director, said: “The Government should act now to curb dangerous and illegal use. Even if the Government decides on the way forward soon, legislation will not take effect until sometime next year.
“They should take this opportunity to gather evidence and consult widely – something which should have happened before the rental trials started but was curtailed by the pandemic.”
The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) is a registered charity. It supports the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Transport Safety. Its charitable objective is “To protect human life through the promotion of transport safety for the public benefit”.
It follows an investigation by the charity (PACTS), which found that 15 people including 11 in 2021 alone died in incidents involving the illegal use of private e-scooters.
Three quarters involved pedestrians and In one fifth of the crashes, other road users were injured.
Nearly four in 10 (38 per cent) of the injuries in e-scooter collisions were serious, largely involving riders suffering head damage or fractures.
half the riders involved riders aged under 29, while over a quarter (29 per cent) of them were aged 10 to 19
PACTS urged the Government to take “immediate” action to tackle dangerous and illegal use.
We question this approach as coming from a car focus.