E-scooters could lead to ‘catastrophic consequences’ and add extra ‘dangers’ to the road
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Electric scooters will add “complexity” for vehicle owners while pedestrians will also be “vulnerable” due to the stealthy nature of the new models, according to experts at Lime Solicitors. The personal injury experts have hit out at the new tools which they believe will add extra issues to the “inherent dangers” of driving.
Peter Kelly, legal director at Lime Solicitors has warned many will be at risk due to the launch of the new tools introduced to ease demand on public transport.
He told Express.co.uk: “There is no doubt that the appearance of these silent machines on our roads will add further risk and complexity for motorists and other road users, already coping with the inherent dangers of driving, and driving within the law.
“Pedestrians will also be vulnerable to the stealthy progress of these machines along the highways and will be particularly at risk if the current illegal use of scooters on pavements and other public areas persists.”
A year-long electric scooter trial has begun in several UK cities to assess how the new mode of transport can be incorporated into current infrastructure designs.
Road users can simply hire the scooters for a small fee as long as they are over 18 years old and hold a valid provisional license.
Riders are currently restricted to designated routes with speed limits of up to 30mph.
Private electric scooters are also still banned with council approved trial machines only allowed to be used in participating regions.
However, there has been a range of safety concerns about the new tools widespread use on the road.
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Campaigners have raised fears about how silent the new scooters are with speeds capable of over 15mph.
Motoring lawyer Nick Freeman warned the new tools could be a “nightmare for the motorist” because the “legal default” will place blame with the driver in the event of a crash.
He has warned that driving laws and the Highway Code would need to be changed in order to better accommodate the new scooters.
Mr Kelly has warned riders should ensure they have fully comprehensive cover to defend against heavy compensation charges.
He warned heavy legal costs against riders could “bankrupt” those who have not secured the right level of cover.
He told Express.co.uk: “Riders of the scooters should themselves be in no doubt as to the potentially catastrophic consequences if, whether at fault or not, they are involved in accidents with other road users.
“And if the use of privately owned scooters eventually becomes legal, they should prioritise taking on fully comprehensive insurance.
“Or [they could] face the possibility of large legal claims for compensation which could bankrupt them in the future.”
However, trials in some areas have already gotten off to a poor start with police having to deal with several major incidents.
Four e-scooters were seized in Hemel Hempstead last month after the illegal use of privately owned models.
Footage showed a man narrowly avoiding oncoming traffic as he jumped a red light on an e-scooter at a busy junction in London.
Police in Bracknell confirmed they are taking action on the new scooters after a number of near-misses in the town.
They warned this was putting the public at serious risk of being injured and fines would now be issued to offenders.
Anyone caught riding the new scooters on the pavement could face heavy penalties under tough enforcement measures
Riders using pavements could face a £300 fine and up to six points on their driving licence.
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