E scooters are legally allowed on London’s roads for the first time after the metropolis launched a rental trial, as one of the manufacturers insisted they were as safe as possible amid safety concerns.
A senior Met officer has called the gizmos absolute death traps and they’ve been linked to a string of accidents, including the death of YouTube star and TV presenter Emily Hartridge, but Alan Clarke, director of policy at manufacturer Lime, insisted the contraptions were extremely stable and had the best possible safety features, such as dual brakes and a reduced top speed of 12.5 mph.
The scheme was originally limited to a handful of areas including Ealing, Canary Wharf, Hammersmith and Fulham, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Richmond upon Thames.
The trial took a late blow when the City of London declared it was withdrawing at the last minute, although officials maintained it was for administrative reasons rather than over safety concerns, and comparable pilots have already taken place in more than forty towns and cities, including Birmingham and Manchester.
And while Transport for London (TfL) has hailed the move as a fundamental part of the city’s sustainable future and post-pandemic recovery, a Metropolitan Police officer thinks otherwise.
Simon Ovens labelled e scooters as absolute death traps, with officers having seized about 800 already this year.
Concerns of reckless manoeuvring of the scooters such as riding too fast, riding under the influence and disregarding red lights have been widespread since the announcement of the initiative.
In 2018, there were four recorded e scooter accidents in London, which climbed to 32 in 2019.
Accident numbers are believed to be underreported, as drivers using them in prohibited zones are unlikely to tell police about collisions.
However, Lime executive Alan Clarke insisted it will be really clear, just how different a rental e scooter is from a privately owned e scooter.
He said that the safety standards are high and that contrasts starkly with private e scooters, which don’t have to pass any standards at all to be put onto the street because by definition they’re already illegal.
He said that he believed people were going to notice that and they certainly expect people to look at the scooters that they’re putting and see how much safer they are, and he added that there was a real interest from people to use this kind of zero-emission and convenient transportation.
However, there’s no safety clothing, training, or accountability, and electric scooter riders are becoming a menace and a danger on the roads, and they ride them on the paths too with no thought to the pedestrians.
They ride them on the paths, on the wrong side of the road and even through red traffic lights, and a lot of them aren’t even legally rented ones, and the police aren’t doing anything about it, and now there are more wheels on the pavements for everyone to avoid, and these scooters are being dumped everywhere.
The e scooter is quite safe, but it’s the riders who are dangerous when on them, but I guess you could say that about guns, that they’re pretty safe, and that it’s the shooters who are dangerous, and the first legal case of damages against a local authority allowing e scooters can’t be far off, it’s just a matter of time, and without training for riders, scooters are death traps, and people who use them should have to take a theory test on road safety and have instruction on how to drive them safely.