Northamptonshire reported 24 e-scooter related accidents and 19 casualties during 2021. It is according to new research from the personal injury team at national law firm Simpson Millar.
In the county, the data revealed that from January 1, 2021 to February 1, 2022, police had confiscated 47 e-scooters. They have been available for rent across the UK and typically have a maximum speed of 15.5 mph.
Northampton was one of the first areas in the UK to host a Voi e-scooter trial 18 months ago and, since then, it has expanded geographically to other towns such as Corby, Rushden and Higham Ferrers, Wellingborough and Kettering.
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They can be hired by those with a provisional driving licence, meaning that riders must be aged at least 15 years and 9 months.
The governmental e-scooter rental trials were set to end on March 31, 2022. However, it has now been extended to November 30 for local authorities who want to continue with the programme.
Rented e-scooters can be used on roads and cycle lanes in designated trial areas but must be kept off pavements. Helmets are encouraged, but not a requirement when riding.
In contrast, some private e-scooters can reach speeds of 40 mph. Although it is legal to buy or sell an e-scooter, it is illegal to ride one on any public roads, cycle lanes or pavements, with riders facing a £300 fine and six points on their license should they be stopped.
From April 1, new trial requirements are coming into force focusing on the safety of e-scooters after concerns were raised about accident numbers. Local authorities will now have to consider:
- Applying lower speed limits to new riders
- Parking incentives and penalties
- Improved geofencing
- E-scooter safety events
- Further use of technology to improve safety
- publicity initiatives
Operators will have to provide a minimum mandatory level of training for riders, which could include in-person sessions, and will have to consider providing riders with helmets.
To reduce illegal use of e-scooters and antisocial behavior, rented e-scooters will now be given unique identification numbers and each rider’s data will also be provided to the police if requested.
Of the police data collected, Simpson Millar found that Avon and Somerset had the highest number of reported incidents involving e-scooters, with 85 accidents and 92 casualties reported. Meanwhile, the West Midlands had 71 recorded accidents over the same time period, while Dorset had 58 reported e-scooter accidents taking place in the year.
When looking at the areas with the lowest number of recorded accidents, Heddlu Gwent Police in Wales recorded just one e-scooter accident and six casualties between January 2021 to February 2022.
Recent .GOV data revealed that from June 2020 – June 2021 from June 2020 – June 2021, across the UK there were 882 accidents involving e-scooters. There were also 931 casualties in this period, of which 253 were seriously injured and three people were killed.
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According to YouGov data, the majority of Brits (65-67%) are not interested in using e-scooters at all. However, a quarter of 18-24-year-olds are keen on using e-scooters on pavements (29% ) and on roads (26%), making them the age group most likely to use an e-scooter.
Simpson Millar also analyzed trial hiring data from councils and local authorities that have been taking part in the e-scooter trials and were able to determine how many registered rides have led to accidents.
Of the hiring trial data collected, Simpson Millar found that Gloucester had the highest ratio of accidents to rides, with one accident taking place for every 2,910 rides recorded. The Isle of Wight also had a high record, with an accident being reported for every 3,460 e-Scooter rides.
In contrast, Barnstaple in North Devon has not had a single reported accident involving an e-scooter since their trial started in April 2021.
(Image: Bath Chronicle)
Simon Stanfield, Partner and Head of Road Accident Claims at Simpson Millar said: “With the rise in e-scooters on UK roads, unfortunately, there are more opportunities for accidents and personal injury.
“Small wheels, lack of mirrors or indicators, and how quiet e-scooters are when running can all contribute to potential incidents. And with no seatbelt, windscreen and just one brake, accidents could lead to serious injuries.”
If you’ve been involved in an e-scooter accident you should:
- Report the accident to the police
- Write down contact details of any witnesses
- Take photographs or video footage of what may have caused the crash. Look for CCTV cameras, as you can request the footage
- Seek medical assistance straight away
- Speak to a Road Traffic Accident Solicitor to discuss your situation and start the claims process
- You may be entitled to compensation, depending on the severity of your injuries, who was at fault and the circumstances of the accident
Northants Live contacted Northamptonshire Police for a response to the figures.
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