Guide Dogs piles pressure on Boris to clamp down on e-scooters

Guide Dogs charity investigates the danger of E-Scooters

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The charity is calling for action after conducting a study of the impact of a collision between an e-scooter and a pedestrian. The research by crash test provider UTAC found that an initial impact of hitting a person at 15.5mph could cause moderate injury, but may be fatal if someone falls and hit their head on the ground.

A survey by OnePoll for Guide Dogs suggests a third of people have had a negative experience with an e-scooter.

The figure is at 64 percent when it comes to people with visual impairments, according to the poll of 2,000 British adults carried out from November 19-24.

Chris Theobald, senior policy, public affairs and campaigns manager at Guide Dogs, said: “The trials of e-scooter hire schemes have sparked a boom in private sales, and we expect even more e-scooters to be bought as Christmas presents this month.

“We are urging the Government to work with the police to tackle illegal riding and make the public more aware of the law.

“If the Government is seriously considering fully legalising e-scooters on public roads, they need to get a grip on safety.

“Our testing shows that everybody is at risk, not just people with visual impairments.

“Any legislation to legalise e-scooters has to fully address speeds, weights, sound, and critically, keep e-scooters off the pavement where they can do significant harm.”

Elaine Maries said she was once hit by an e-scooter with her guide dog Inca.

She said: “As someone with sight loss, it’s difficult for me to know when an e-scooter is coming as they travel at fast speeds silently.

“My guide dog Inca and I were once hit by a rider.

“I was putting her into her harness on the pavement outside my home.

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“I could hear two voices getting closer and the next thing I knew I was hit with such a force that I was knocked over and into Inca.

“It was extremely unsettling as I had no idea what had hit me.

“Only afterwards was I told by a passing pedestrian that it was an e-scooter that had hit me.

“Luckily, neither Inca nor I were injured from the incident, but as this crash testing shows, it could have been so much worse.”

Private e-scooters cannot legally be used in the UK except on private land.

However, they are a common sight on roads and pavements in urban areas.

Dozens of legalised e-scooter rental schemes have been launched in towns and cities across Britain since July 2020 as part of Government trials, despite long-running safety concerns about the devices.

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