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PACTS warns against rushed legalisation of private e-scooters

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The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) has warned against rushing to legalise private e-scooters in the UK.

The government has been operating shared e-scooter trials since the summer of 2020, with a decision set to be made on the evidence collected following their conclusion in March 2022.

However, PACTS has argued that any evaluation of shared trials should not be applied to regulations for private e-scooters automatically, with it is still illegal to ride owned e-scooter on public roads.

The findings, put together in a report titled The Safety of private e-scooters, suggest that private e-scooters are unlike shared vehicles in terms of both their use and construction and therefore separate analysis is required.

The report included insight from bodies such as The European Transport Safety Council, The Bicycle Association, Royal London Hospital, and The Metropolitan Police Service.

Approximately 360,000 private e-scooters were sold in 2020, with PACTS estimating that close to 500,000 will be sold in 2021.

There have been at least nine deaths involving private e-scooters in 2021, as well as numerous serious injuries to both riders and road users.

The report concluded: “PACTS is clear that rental scooters and their use are different in a number of significant respects from private scooters and private use. This will remain so. It will not be feasible to impose the sophisticated safety devices and management systems, employed in the better rental schemes, on private e-scooters and users.”

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