Thirds of Brits unaware of important safety rules and the potential consequences of breaking the rules, according to personal injury specialists National Accident Helpline.

There have been long-running safety concerns about e-scooters with dozens of e-scooter trials taking place across the UK, but not following the rules can also lead to a heavy fine and even loosing your driving licence.

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A new survey from National Accident Helpline found the majority of Brits are unaware that it is illegal to ride any e-scooter on a pavement, and that breaking this law could lead to a £300 fine, up to six points on their driving licence, and their e-scooter being impounded if it is privately owned.

In addition, just 37% know that you must not use a mobile phone while riding an e-scooter, and shockingly only 45% are aware that you must not ride an e-scooter while drunk or otherwise intoxicated. 

Six in ten (60%) also don’t know that riders are advised to wear a helmet - despite these reaching high speeds of up to 22mph - while four in ten (40%) incorrectly believe that anyone over the age of 13 is permitted to ride an e-scooter in the UK. 

At a minimum, riders must have a provisional UK driving licence and therefore need to be aged at least 15 years and 9 months old. 

Currently there are around 50 active e-scooter rental trials taking place across England as part of a government initiative that was first introduced in July 2020 by the Department for Transport to support a green restart of local travel and help mitigate reduced public transport capacity. The trial has recently been extended into 2022. 

A sharp rise in the use of e-scooters has prompted some police forced to issue warnings on  ‘the danger these machines pose to both the rider and pedestrians’, and experts at National Accident Helpline are calling on the Government to introduce more robust enforcement and safety measures to protect all vulnerable road users. 

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Jonathan White, Legal and Compliance Director of National Accident Helpline, said: “E-scooters are an attractive option in helping the nation to embrace more environmentally friendly transport options. However, introducing these schemes without putting adequate safety and enforcement measures in place puts the public at risk. 

“With e-scooter trials being extended and private sales growing, we would ask that the Government ensures all riders are made aware of the rules and that there is a legal requirement in place to wear appropriate safety protection, such as cycle helmets, when operating e-scooters. We believe the speed limit should also be reduced to 12.5mph, as is the case in Germany. 

“Other important new safety initiatives in the trial areas could include specific e-scooter routes or roads, usage curfews, and even artificial noise devices that issues audible alerts to pedestrians.  

“There are already several published papers on the risk to person injury – and the data is seriously concerning. This is a matter that simply must not be ignored.”  

Further information can be found at the National Accident Helpline website.