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Statistics released by the Department for Transport (DfT) revealed that there were 115,584 injuries in Britain last year with 1,460 being fatal. Both numbers decreased from 2019.
However, the report also includes accidents on e-scooters and pushbikes for the first and show that there were 484 e-scooter related casualties, with one being fatal. Of the other crashes, 128 people were seriously injured and 355 slightly injured.
The findings come after the British government allowed e-scooters to be trialled on public roads, in order to reduce the number of passengers on public transport during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has sparked a surge in e-scooter usage.
However, according to IAM RoadSmart, the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, the results of these pilot schemes have been delayed, which means a full review of the status of e-scooter transport is yet to be established. The charity is also calling for the legal status of e-scooters to be clarified.
“E-scooters may have a role to play in the future transport mix, but this can only happen once their legal status has been made completely clear and that cannot happen soon enough,” says Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart.
“We have another Christmas looming where people will be buying and using a totally unregulated form of transport in the UK,” he continues.
According to a recent survey of the charity, in the 18,50 responses, 94% of them regard the safety of pedestrians and riders as the most important consideration for the new legislation on e-scooters.
“It is important to recognise that cyclists are one of the most vulnerable road user groups. Cyclists are harder to spot for drivers on the road, and they are not protected by a metal cage in the same way car users are,” says Neil.
The DfT report also revealed that the number of seriously injured cyclists rose by more than a quarter between 2004 and 2020, while the number of fatalities increased by 5% from 134 to 141.
“The most common factor allocated in pedal cyclist versus other vehicle collisions was ‘Driver or rider failed to look properly’, underlining the critical importance of observation and anticipation in ensuring we can all share the roads safely,” comments Neil.