It has been reported today Swedish firm Voi is to pay for police patrols to carry out spot checks on e-scooter users in Birmingham and Northampton, in an effort to address concerns around irresponsible e-scooter use.
The news comes after Voi and Coventry City Council announced a suspension to the e-scooter trial in Coventry, following complaints from the RNIB concerning e-scooters being ridden on pavements. Voi has also announced it will be introducing number plates on their e-scooters to help track rental users and their behaviour.
Tom McPhail, director of public affairs for Pure Electric, said: “Electric scooters are a low cost and environmentally friendly way to get around cities. The problem is they’re also a lot of fun to ride, so inevitably in these early days, you’re going to get people pushing the boundaries of safe and acceptable use. The sooner the government makes new laws to regulate their use and they become commonplace, the sooner everyone can enjoy the benefits they bring. The current time frame of running trials for 12 months before deciding what to do next is far too long; the government should be drawing up legislation right now.”
Electric scooters are currently classed as motor vehicles, which means you need a license to ride one, as well as vehicle registration and insurance. They’re covered by outdated laws dating back to the first half of the 19th Century. The current e-scooter trials have created local exemptions allowing the use of specified rental scooters within a defined geographical area.
Proposed new regulation
This is what Pure Electric think good e-scooter regulation could look like:
· E-scooters should be treated as closely as possible in the same way as bicycles and e-bikes
· Permitted on roads and cycle paths but not pavements
· You shouldn’t need a license to ride one
· A minimum age of 14, the same as e-bikes
· Speed limit of 15.5 mph
· E-scooters subject to type approval for braking performance etc
· Helmet use strongly advised but not mandatory
· Insurance recommended but not mandatory
· Safe riding guidance should be made widely available
This article was written by the team behind Pure Electric.