UK government urged to consider mandatory helmets for private e-scooters by safety charity  

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.  

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