A safety charity has urged the UK Government to consider restrictions on private e-scooter use, including mandatory helmets.
The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS), a registered-charity that aims to inform the House of Commons and House of Lords and safety issues, has set out its recommendations for private e-scooter use in the UK, if the vehicles become legal on public roads.
Currently, privately-owned e-scooters are only allowed on the roads if the user has a licence, insurance and tax, but the Government is expected to update legislation on e-scooters in the near future.
E-scooter use is currently restricted to Government-back trial rental schemes across the country.
Following extensive research, PACTS published a comprehensive report looking at safety aspects of letting private-use e-scooters operate on the roads.
The interim report was released in December, but on 23rd March PACTS held a webinar to present its findings for the final report.
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The biggest recommendations are enforcing mandatory helmets for riders and putting a 16+ age limit in place.
The recommendations also include:
- Maximum possible top speed of between 10mph-12.5mph (16-20km/h)
- Maximum continuous rated motor power 250 W
- Anti-tampering mechanisms should be included in the construction. Tampering should be prohibited by law
- A maximum unladen weight of 20kg
- A minimum front wheel size of 12 inches (30.5cm) and minimum rear wheel size of 10 inches (25.5cm)
- Two independently controlled braking devices
- Lighting to be mandatory at all times
- An audible warning device to be mandatory
- Helmet wearing to be mandatory
- Rider age limit of at least 16 years
- Riding on the pavement to be prohibited
- Carrying of a passenger to be prohibited
- Drink driving, dangerous or careless riding, and mobile phone use to be prohibited
- In-person rider training recommended
- e-scooters should be regulated as motor vehicles
- Public liability insurance for riders recommended
- The rider should inform the police if there is a collision involving an injury
The Government was expected to update the rules on private-use scooters this summer, but a number of trial schemes across the country are now being extended until April, and it is unclear when the Government may now make the anticipated changes.