Electric scooters became legal on the road when rented from licensed rental companies in England, Scotland, and Wales on the 4th of July 2020. They are currently limited to 15.5mph / 24 km/h and banned on pavements. Legalisation of e-scooters on roads was in alignment with the outbreak of COVID-19 and growing interest in micro-mobility, meaning that people are wanting a new safe way to travel, particularly in city environments.
The UK government will be enforcing strict rules on the use of e-scooters from day one, including: speed limits, minimum rider age and banning of e-scooters on pavements. Also, riders currently must also have a full provisional driving license.
Confidence is key when it comes to riding your e-scooter. Take some time to practice using both the front and rear brakes before hopping onto the roads, and always make sure you wear a helmet as you would with a bike.
Some e-scooters, such as the Riley Scooters, provide three settings that cap the speed limit you can travel, so you can easily build your confidence by starting slower on a lower setting.
A new study by the International Transport Forum (ITF) published that e-scooter riders do not face a higher risk of road traffic injury or fatality than cyclists. When it comes to safety, there is little differentiation between e-scooters and e-bikes. Progression in wheel designs has meant that e-scooters can now deal with any road impairments such as potholes, harsh curbs and wet roads. E-scooters also allow a sense of nimbleness that mean you can weave through traffic easily and hop off at any time in case of an emergency.
Choose your e-scooter carefully
Making sure that you choose your scooter carefully is a significant factor in determining its safety on the road. Ensure that you choose one with both rear and front brakes for the best stopping power. Also, wheels that are larger and air-filled provide the most smooth and stable ride. Good lights are also essential for safe riding. Make sure that your scooter has an effective set of LED lights, to make sure that you can be seen in all conditions.