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Electric scooters were legalized in the Queen’s Speech today

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The Queen’s Speech delivered by Prince Charles today included the legalization of the use of electric scooters, despite a huge increase not only in the number of people hospitalized for using them, but also a massive increase in the ambulances needed to attend electric scooter accidents.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed in April that he would announce electric scooter legislation in the 2022 Queen’s Speech.

This is despite the fact that around 82% more ambulances were called to help e-scooter related crashes in 2021 than in 2020.

713 e-scooter related crashes were attended by NHS ambulance vehicles in 2021, a huge jump from the previous year’s figure of 392.

Elsewhere, data from the Major Trauma Group also revealed that the number of electric scooter accident patients referred to A&E increased by 40% between 2020 and 2021, with 173 patients treated at the scene of an accident taken to their local A&E location in 2021 compared to just 124 in 2020.

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All of the Ambulance Trusts that responded to the freedom of information request saw an increase in the number of e-scooter accidents.

Although there have been several trials of using electric scooters on UK roads, private use anywhere has been banned so far.

Mr Shapps said the plan was to “introduce legislation allowing the government to regulate electric scooters in the 2022-23 session.

“The government could then stipulate that all e-scooters sold meet certain standards regarding speed, power and lights, among other things.”

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Mr Shapps told the Commons Transport Select Committee last month that “in the future I want to crack down on the illegal use of non-compliant electric scooters on the roads”.

He praised the government-approved rental trials, saying millions of miles had been travelled.

Committee member Simon Jupp pointed out that there had been “900 collisions, 11 of which were fatal”.

Mr Shapps responded by saying: ‘We will take the power to properly regulate and then we can decide how they are used.

“They are a reality, they exist. If these things exist, they must be secure, and I think the trials have been useful in collecting data and there is still data to be collected.”

Currently, anyone with a private e-scooter is legally restricted to using it on private land, but it is still frequently seen in cities.

Another committee member, Ben Bradshaw, described electric scooters as a “convenient, cheap and environmentally friendly form of transport”.

The Labor MP for Exeter then asked the Transport Secretary when the DfT will ‘move on and allow these things properly’.

Mr Shapps replied: ‘I will announce it on May 10.’

Martin Usher of Lime Solicitors said: “Private electric scooters are already being used on the streets despite it being illegal, and these private vehicles can be modified to achieve considerable speeds that those involved in public trials do not allow, in due to a lack of appropriate regulation.

“As CoMo UK pointed out in its letter to the Department for Transport, hundreds of thousands of unregulated e-scooters are being used illegally on public roads, and by legalizing the private use of e-scooters the government will also be forced to crack down on safety issues, thereby reducing the number of preventable serious injuries caused on the roads.

“We have to face the reality that transport is changing and that micro-mobility vehicles and electric scooters will be on our roads, for better or for worse.

Legalization provides an important opportunity to enforce stricter safety rules for private electric scooters and improve education to ensure all road users have access to safe and environmentally friendly transport.

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