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Robust regulations and enforcement are needed around the use of e-scooters, say insurance industry bodies amid fears over their safety.

In the year ending June 2021 there were 882 accidents involving the devices across Britain, government figures show.

This resulted in 931 casualties – of whom 732 were e-scooter users.

In a letter to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, bodies such as the Association of British Insurers said there are concerns about a risk to all road users until there is robust regulation beyond official trials.

It called for coherent standards on e-scooter construction and safety, including whether wearing helmets is made mandatory. 

Last month transport minister Baroness Vere of Norbiton told peers that trials of the devices were ‘making progress’. 

The Association of British Insurers has called for coherent standards on e-scooter construction and safety, including whether wearing helmets is made mandatory (file photo)

The Association of British Insurers has called for coherent standards on e-scooter construction and safety, including whether wearing helmets is made mandatory (file photo)

The Association of British Insurers has called for coherent standards on e-scooter construction and safety, including whether wearing helmets is made mandatory (file photo)

James Dalton, director, general insurance policy, ABI, said: ‘The insurance industry is committed to working with Government to ensure e-scooter regulation strikes the right balance between ensuring public safety on the one hand and encouraging innovative approaches to transport on the other.’

The groups are calling for effective enforcement where e-scooters are used illegally in Britain, including in respect of civil and criminal liability.

There must also be coherent standards regarding e-scooter construction and safety equipment, including standards on batteries and charging, braking and lighting, and whether protective equipment is mandated, they said.

The bodies called for a review of regulations on the sale of e-scooters to ensure that sellers and manufacturers clearly set out to buyers their legal responsibilities arising from their use.

Chris Jones, IUA director of legal and market services, said: ‘It is essential that an appropriate and effective regulatory system is introduced at the earliest opportunity.’

Graeme Trudgill, executive director, Biba, said: ‘Biba supports the introduction of new green and financially economical forms of mobility. 

‘However, for Government to legalise e-scooters in a responsible way, they need to bring forward robust regulations and effective enforcement.’

Raising the issue at Westminster in February, Conservative peer Baroness Neville-Rolfe, a former Tesco executive and minister, said e-scooters have become a ‘menace’.

‘The defence of the present situation is focused on the relatively small number of regulated trial rentals, not the hundreds of thousands in private ownership with very limited legal use,’ she said.

Responding, transport minister Baroness Vere of Norbiton said the policy is still being developed, and told peers: ‘It is very important that we develop a safe, proportionate and flexible regulatory regime.’

Pointing out that this requires data from the trials being run and more research, the minister added: ‘I reassure her that we are making progress. I recognise that there is more to be done.’

Source: Daily Mail

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