New figures show how many e-scooter crashes were recorded by Hampshire police last year
MORE than a dozen people were hurt in crashes involving electric scooters in Hampshire last year, new figures have revealed.
According to the Department for Transport (DfT), there were a total of 17 casualties recorded by Hampshire police due to accidents with the vehicles in 2020.
The data does not differentiate between private e-scooters, which are currently illegal to use in public, and rental e-scooters that can be used in designated places such as Portsmouth – although the DfT said the figures are likely to relate largely to private use.
As reported, an e-scooter rental trial was launched in the city in March this year by provider Voi, with residents able to take the vehicles between various docking stations. These scooters have limited speed limits and riders must be 18 years old or older and hold at least a provisional driving licence.
Councillor Lynne Stagg, Portsmouth City Council’s transport boss, said the new figures reflected a need for rules around private e-scooters.
She said: ‘I want to see legislation to cover the private scooters. I think the same rules that the rental scooters have should apply.
‘If people ride them properly then the chances of any accidents is very minimal. We need legislation - there needs to be a minimum age limit, people need to have insurance and lights on the front and rear of the scooters.
‘The trial in Portsmouth has been really positive. 55 per cent of people who have used them said they used them instead of a car or taxi.’
The DfT numbers showed across Britain, police forces recorded 484 casualties resulting from 460 e-scooter incidents last year.
Of these one person – an e-scooter rider – was killed and 128 people were seriously injured.
The Voi e-scooter trial in Portsmouth is set to end in November this year, however, the results of a public survey will be consulted to decide whether to extend it until March 2022.
A Voi spokesman said: ‘We are pleased to be helping the Department for Transport investigate how to best design e-scooter regulations by carrying out trials in many cities across the UK.
‘We believe industry standards that currently do not exist, will be essential for the safety of all e-scooter riders. In Portsmouth, we have seen users travel nearly 300,000 miles over the course of 143,000 individual rides, since the trial started.
‘We’ve incentivised safer riding through our online traffic school, Ride Like Voila, and regular in-person safety events, introduced more safety features such as the “helmet selfie”, which rewards people for wearing a helmet, and the ‘end of ride photo, together with more parking racks, to ensure riders leave e-scooters safely parked.’
The DfT said the word scooter within the statistics could also ‘describe a variety of vehicles including some motorcycles (those that have a step-through frame and a platform for the rider’s feet to rest on), mobility scooters and traditional stand on scooters.’