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Experts have warned that the lack of “competency tests” and “no compulsory measures” are just two reasons why the new technology could be a serious risk to the road. The Major Trauma Group is made up of members from law firms such as Moore Barlow to medical specialists from the Brain Injury Group.
Trevor Sterling, Chair of the Major Trauma Group said that the silent nature of the scooters was also a concern as drivers and pedestrians would be unable to hear one in an emergency.
He said: “As an advocate of electric scooters, the Major Trauma Group would truly like to see these vehicles on British roads.
“But this cannot come at the cost of rider, or other road user and pedestrian safety.
“From a lack of insurance and competency tests to no compulsory measures for riders to wear helmets, use headlights or reflective clothing during these dark evenings, there are serious safety issues around the use of electric scooters on British roads.
“This is exacerbated by the fact that electric scooters do not make any noise and as a result do not warn pedestrians they are approaching.”
A survey conducted by the group has found that residents and road users generally support the introduction of tougher measures for electric scooter riders.
A total of 60 percent believe that electric scooter users should have a full driving licence before first using the new technology.
Eight out of ten say helmets should be made mandatory despite there being no legal requirement currently in place.
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Seven out of ten people have called for motor insurance to be made mandatory for all riders in the event of an accident.
The Major Trauma Group says that the lack of insurance means that accident victims will pay independently for rehabilitation and recovery.
In response to the survey, the group have called for urgent “compulsory safety measures” to be introduced which would “protect riders” from the possible dangers.
“The introduction of compulsory safety measures would protect riders and other road users.
“Currently, without appropriate regulation, there is a significant risk of serious injury occurring and no insurance protection for individuals involved in accidents.
“This week marks Road Safety Week, with a particular focus on speed.
“As we work on the Government to regulate these vehicles on our roads, we also want to ask users of electric scooters to be extra vigilant and lower their speed.”
The comments come just over a month after Transport Committee chairman Huw Merriman recommended that road users should not be required to have a driving licence for rental or private use.
He said the group understood why driving licences were required for the trials but this should not be needed if the tools were legalised.
They called on the Department for Transport to monitor the number of collisions to determine any new insurance requirements.
Mr Merriman said that helmet use should be encouraged but did not confirm whether they would be made compulsory if the new scooters were legalised.
The proposed launch of electric scooters has caused some controversy in the UK with drivers warned they would face tough penalties for making minor mistakes.
Motoring lawyer Nick Freeman has previously warned that the “legal default” will see motorists punished if they hit an electric scooter rider.
He warned that offenders would be dealt with in the same way as they would hitting a cyclist or another vehicle.
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