Don’t overlook safety risk of e-scooters, fleets told
Fleets should factor e-scooters in to risk management processes as the new two-wheeled transport option becomes a popular micromobility solution across the UK.
The call comes from DriveTech after regulations enabling trials of e-scooters kicked in last summer; since then, more than 40 cities have either launched or announced plans to launch public rental schemes.
But DriveTech warns that safety is a key concern for all parties involved in e-scooter trials. The road risk specialist – which recently teamed up with e-scooter operator Tier to launch the UK’s first e-scooter theory test – cautions that riders may be inexperienced with the technology and other road users may not be used to their presence. This shows the need for training to equip riders with the know-how to operate the e-scooters correctly and, importantly, move alongside other road users safely.
Colin Paterson, head of marketing, DriveTech, said: “E-scooters are rising in popularity and availability and now is the time for businesses to make sure they fulfil their duty of care and manage the risks they present to employees and vulnerable road users.
“DriveTech has been providing driver training for 30 years and I’m proud that we are the first UK safety training organisation to develop and champion training for this new mode of transport. We are now working closely with some of the leading e-scooter companies who have firmly put safety at the top of their agenda, to deliver innovative training to their riders.”
He continued: “I also urge employers and those who may have been gifted a private e-scooter over the festive season to be aware that use is illegal on anything other than private property with permission from the landowner. Public use of e-scooters in the UK is currently only permissible legally using approved rental trial scooters. Private e-scooter misuse carries the potential for fines and penalty points.”
While the House of Commons’ Transport Select Committee recently published a report lending its support to the Government’s plans to make e-scooters legal, it’s also warned that robust enforcement measures are needed. It’s advised that the trials and any plans for legalisation should not be to the detriment of pedestrians, particularly the disabled, and said the measures must eliminate pavement use of e-scooters, which is dangerous and anti-social. Other recommendations to the Government include not requiring users to have licences but encouraging them to use helmets, monitoring the number and types of collisions during the trials to determine future insurance requirements, and for local authorities to determine the speed of e-scooters in their areas; as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach will not work.