E-scooters: Anne McIntosh calls for clarity on rules
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Sue Reynolds, from High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, was walking on the pavement with her 14-year-old dachshund Jumbo when the black scooter drove through the dog lead. The pooch was sent flying into the air before landing on the road where he “faded away” and died.
Ms Reynolds, 72, said the “aggressive” e-scooter rider, a man in his 20s, then told her she shouldn’t have been walking on the pavement before he left.
She said: “It was horrendous, and I can’t unsee it. I shouted at him to stop or slow down, but he went right through the middle of the lead.
“It threw Jumbo flying through the air, and he landed on the road with such a slump that I don’t think we could have got past that.
“I picked him up, he was bleeding from his mouth – he just faded away. I had blood everywhere.
“My house feels empty without Jumbo. He was with me through thick and thin.”
Ms Reynolds approached the police after the incident in High Wycombe at about 8.15am on May 12.
Zipp Mobility, which hires out e-scooters in the town, said it was investigating what had happened.
It is not clear whether the electric scooter in this incident was rented from Zipp or privately owned.
Ms Reynolds said: “E-scooters are the bane of our society at the moment.
“It’s about time they did something about it before someone is killed – and someone will be killed if it continues like that.
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“You can’t hear the scooters until they’re right on top of you. A lot of people have said they’re now nervous being on the pavement.
“People shouldn’t have to live being frightened all the time that they will be flattened.”
A spokesperson for Thames Valley Police said the force received a report of the death of a dog following an incident involving a man riding on an e-scooter.
They added: “Officers are making further enquiries with regards to the incident.”
A spokesperson from Zipp Mobility said: “We are very sorry to hear about this tragic incident. We are now investigating.”
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News of the incident comes as the latest figures show the number of pedestrians injured after being hit by e-scooters was nearly four times higher in 2021 than the previous year.
Department for Transport statistics revealed 223 people travelling on foot were wounded by the contraptions in Britain last year, including 63 who were seriously hurt.
That is up from a total of 57 pedestrian casualties in 2020, which included just 13 serious injuries.
Walking charity Living Streets warned the situation will worsen unless the ban on using e-scooters on pavements is enforced.
The figures have been released just weeks after the Government announced that it plans to introduce new legislation to govern e-scooter use.
Private e-scooters are often used on public roads and pavements despite being banned.
Legalised trials of rental e-scooters on roads have been set up in dozens of towns and cities across England.
The casualty statistics also show that 64 cyclists were injured in e-scooter crashes in 2021, up from 21 during the previous 12 months.
Some 1,034 e-scooter riders or passengers were injured in 2021, accounting for 76 percent of all casualties in crashes involving the devices.
That includes nine users who were killed and 305 who were seriously injured.
Living Streets policy and research manager Dr Rachel Lee said: “It is illegal to use e-scooters on pavements but, until this is enforced, we risk seeing the number of pedestrians injured on our streets continue to rise.
“Initially we were concerned at the speed with which the Government was moving forward with e-scooter trials and the loose guidance given to local authorities.
“However, a much greater problem has emerged. There are more than 750,000 illegal, privately owned e-scooters already being used on public roads.
“That can’t be undone. As well as legislating for e-scooter construction and use, Government must now address enforcement against use on pavements.”
A spokeswoman for the Royal National Institute of Blind People said e-scooters pose particular risks for blind and partially-sighted pedestrians as they are fast-moving, quiet and often ridden on pavements.
She added: “Making e-scooters more visually and audibly detectable will help reduce the risks these vehicles pose, but these are only some of the solutions that are being explored.
“Ultimately we need appropriate infrastructure – such as detectable kerbs and pelican crossings – and effective enforcement to ensure that e-scooters are always kept separate from pedestrians.”
A Government spokesman said: “We extend our deepest sympathies to those involved in these tragic incidents.
“Safety is at the heart of our e-scooter trials, looking to protect riders, pedestrians and other road users.
“We have set out clear regulations and guidance for users and rental providers on wearing helmets, speed limits and precautions to keep everyone safe.
“While riding a privately owned e-scooter on public land is currently illegal, we are considering how best to design future regulations.
“Our Transport Bill will enable us to take the steps we need to support innovation, robustly crack down on irresponsible use and make e-scooters safer.”
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