DfT crash stats reveal 484 e-scooter casualties in 2020

The Government is being urged to take action on e-scooter legislation and safety after new crash statistics revealed the number of e-scooter casualties for the first time.

There were 484 casualties involving e-scooters in 2020, of which one person was killed, 128 were seriously injured and 355 slightly injured

The Department for Transport’s latest findings on reported road casualties in the UK show there were 484 casualties involving e-scooters in 2020, of which one person was killed, 128 were seriously injured and 355 slightly injured.

Road safety charity IAM RoadSmart said the figures show the need for the Government to release the results of the current e-scooter pilot schemes and carry out a full review of the status of this new form of transport.

While e-scooter firms were given the green light to start trials on UK streets in July 2020, the trials have also sparked a surge in illegal e-scooter usage, and IAM RoadSmart said the Government now needs to clarify their legal status.

Neil Greig, director of policy and research at IAM RoadSmart, commented: “By delaying yet again the results of the pilot schemes we have another Christmas looming where people will be buying and using a totally unregulated form of transport in the UK.

“The pilots were launched in July 2020 and are now not due to finish until March 2022, plus the time required after that for analysis and legislation – this has taken far too long in our opinion. In the meantime, the police should make it absolutely clear that anyone caught riding an e-scooter outside private land or a trial area will have their vehicle seized immediately.

“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.”

A recent survey by IAM RoadSmart has also revealed major safety concerns over e-scooters among the 1,850 responses. In fact, the safety of pedestrians and cyclists was seen as the most important consideration (94%) for formulating new legislation on e-scooters.

IAM also said the new DfT accident statistics show the need for more action on cyclist safety.

The report revealed that between 2004 and 2020, serious injuries of cyclists (adjusted) rose by 26% and fatalities increased from 134 to 141 (5%). However, this is because pedal cycle traffic has also risen between 2004 and 2020, at a rate faster than serious injuries.

And in the period from 2015 to 2020, an average of 2 pedal cyclists died and 83 were seriously injured (adjusted) per week in reported road casualties.

Neil Greig added: “While there are signs of improvement, with cycle traffic increasing at a faster rate than serious injuries, 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.

“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.”

To access the DfT crash statistics, click here.