It’s fair to say that electric scooters - now a ubiquitous presence on the streets of the UK’s towns and cities - divide opinion.
Whilst many view the emergence of this new mode of transport as a liberating, low carbon alternative to overcrowded public transport systems, others are unnerved and worried by the rise of a vehicle that adds an extra layer of jeopardy and unpredictability to urban traffic. Indeed, according to figures published today by Major Trauma Group (which is calling for a crackdown on unregulated vehicles) NHS Ambulance Trusts across England, Wales and Northern Ireland were called to assist 82% more e-scooter related accidents during 2021 than throughout 2020.
Whilst some of the scooters on our roads are part of approved hire schemes and deploy technologies such as geo-fencing to prevent their riders taking to the pavements, many more are privately owned (at least 750,000 according to estimates from the UK’s Department for Transport) and riding these scooters in public is currently against the law.
With the UK’s Transport Secretary Grant Shapps this week hinting that private e-scooters may soon be legalised we’d like to know where readers of The Engineer stand. Should privately owned e-scooters be given the green light to take to our public roads? Or should we be clamping down on their use? Let us know by voting in this week’s poll below and - as always - please do expand on your thoughts on this emotive topic in the comments box below the line.