Threat of electric scooters? Wait until you hear about cars …
New and disruptive technology has always disrupted the national psyche; Much of the reaction to electric scooter technology echoed the moral panic that convinced people that the first railroad passengers would die spontaneously when trains hit 50 mph. However, those who are horrified by the risks posed by electric scooters, while neglecting the road hazard caused by cars, are guilty of cognitive dissonance.
Make no mistake – it’s clear electric scooters need to be regulated, but the way the technology is portrayed in the media is little more than a straw man’s argument to distract from the public eye. main threats on the roads. We need a rational approach to reducing road danger; the greater the threat to health and the environment, the more severe the restrictions.
Take for example the technology used to govern some of the current testing of electric scooters on UK roads. It includes “high precision tracking technology” which is accurate to 10cm; ‘Rapid Geofence Detection’ which activates in 0.3 seconds and ‘Dangerous Riding Detection’, which warns of dangerous behavior in real time.
Transport journalist Carlton Reid was quick to point out the double standards: ââ¦if all this amazingly precise safety technology is available for low speed electric scooters, why the hell isn’t it already included on high speed motor vehicles?“
Stranger still is the lack of standard peatland data loggers in motor vehicles – or to be more precise, the lack of a willingness to share information of this type. EU law has made it mandatory to install black box-type data loggers in cars built after 2022, but such information is already being collected by many cars on the road today. It’s just not shared by the manufacturers.
We will only achieve safe and livable streets if we tackle the root causes of road hazard in an impartial and proportionate manner.
Electric scooters and UK law
The UK is the last major European economy where electric scooters are still banned from use except on private land. However, the legal status of electric scooters does not prevent them from being purchased in large numbers.
No one is sure how many electric scooters have been sold in the UK, but Halfords has seen his own sales more than double from foreclosure and he believes there is huge latent demand. When the retailer surveyed 2,000 adults, 33% said they would consider using an electric scooter for shorter trips if they became legal to use and 28% would consider swapping their car for an electric scooter for ” benefit the environment â.
Under current UK law, electric scooter riders face a fixed fine of Â£ 300 and six points on their driver’s license for using them on the road or sidewalk. The law classifies electric scooters as motor vehicles, but their legal status is further hampered by the fact that they do not have a seat, which is currently a requirement for all road vehicles. This means that except for the various test programs scattered around the country, you cannot ride an electric scooter on a public road, on sidewalks or on cycle paths. You must also be 18 or over to use one.
When will electric scooters be legal on UK roads?
As a result of the current testing of electric scooters, which runs through March 2022, there will likely be long discussions about whether to make use legal on the road. it seems likely that eventually electric scooters will be classified in the same way as electric bikes. In other words, use is legal on public roads and cycle paths and without registration or insurance, but limited to a speed of 15.5 mph. It is not clear whether helmets will be mandatory, as it would hardly be possible for electric scooter riders to wear motorcycle helmets. Concerns have been expressed that an increase in the number of electric scooters would discourage people from walking or cycling. As credible as this argument is, electric scooters are more likely to attract drivers to their cars for short trips.
Are electric scooters dangerous?
Department of Transport Statistics, Reported road accidents Great Britain, annual report: 2020, reveal that there was one death, 128 seriously injured and 355 slightly injured last year. Since no one knows how many miles an electric scooter has traveled, it is impossible to quantify the risk associated with riding an electric scooter. However, like other vulnerable road users, it is likely that the main danger faced by electric scooter riders is the drivers of heavier and faster vehicles.
Great confidence is placed in electric vehicles, but electrifying cars will not solve the problems of traffic congestion, road hazard, urban sprawl and wasted parking space. There is no doubt that electric scooters have a valuable role to play in persuading drivers to leave their cars – the current uncertainty over their future legal status does little more than put that potential on hold.
The ethical choice
ETA was established in 1990 as an ethical provider of green and reliable travel services. More than 30 years later, we continue to offer bicycle, breakdown and mobility scooter insurance while placing concern for the environment at the heart of all our actions.
The Good Shopping Guide considers us the UK’s most ethical supplier.