Grandmother, 80, left with broken wrist, cracked jaw and cheekbone after e-scooter in ‘hit and run’
A grandmother was left with a broken wrist, cracked jaw and cheekbone after being knocked to the ground by an e-scooter in a suspected hit-and-run.
Sarah Carter was hit by a rider while walking down the sidewalk.
The 80-year-old was on her way to a shop near her home in Canterbury, Kent, when the accident happened on July 1, which left her flying.
She said she was hit by a young man riding an e-scooter rented by Bird and is now calling for the citywide pilot program to end before a pedestrian or rider is killed.
Witnesses said an e-scooter rider came flying out of the entrance to flats above a nearby Sainsbury’s store.
Retired university librarian, Mrs Carter, is now at home recovering from her injuries after the incident near Canterbury West station.
Riders of e-scooters hired in the UK must generally be over the age of 18 and hold at least a provisional driving licence.
Private e-scooters are still illegal on public roads, highways and sidewalks.
Sarah Carter, 80, while in hospital after surgery on her broken right arm
Mrs. Carter is a mother of two and grandmother of four. She was on her way to a local store when the collision happened
She now faces a long road to recovery and fears she will never be as fit and healthy as she was before the accident
Ms Carter said: ‘I was sent flying to the ground and it is only fortunate that I am very fit for my age and have not suffered a broken hip or head injury.
“But it has caused me a lot of pain and I have no confidence that I will return to where I was.
“Another elderly person could have been more seriously injured or even killed quite easily.
“I remember looking up to see a young man mumbling apologies.
“But when others gathered around me and came to help me, he disappeared.
“I am very grateful to those who did come to my aid, including a doctor who happened to come by.”
The grandmother of four was taken by ambulance to William Harvey Hospital in nearby Ashford, where she spent a total of eight hours in the hospital, including four hours in the emergency room, where her injuries were assessed and operated on.
She now has a heavy cast on her right arm and has to make expensive return visits by taxi to the hospital.
Mother of two, Mrs. Carter, added: ‘I can’t write or draw well, let alone do my garden, which makes life very frustrating and I expect to continue to suffer in the long run.’
Bird’s e-scooters can go up to 15 mph, but there are variable limits in town.
In March, it was confirmed that Bird’s e-scooter trial has been extended until November by Kent County Council.
But Ms Carter said the plan should be reconsidered, calling the e-scooters “deadly.”
She added: ‘While I see the potential environmental benefit, the scheme just isn’t working.
‘No infrastructure has been built and it is simply irresponsible on the part of the municipality.’
Bird, the company running the e-scooter pilot project in Canterbury, said the rider was immediately identified and blocked from using the service.
E-scooters can be hired in many UK cities, including London, Birmingham and Cambridge (Pictured: E-scooters in Cheltenham, Gloucester from Zwings firm)
Bird, the company running the e-scooter pilot project in Canterbury, said the rider was immediately identified and blocked from using the service
Bird e-scooters have been around in parts of America for several years, but the company is currently holding a UK trial in Canterbury, Kent.
A company spokesperson said: ‘Our thoughts are with the person injured as we continue to work closely with them and our city partners to provide the support needed at this time.
“While one incident is too many, we estimate that one in five eligible Canterbury residents have ridden our scooters since the trial began nearly two years ago and safety incidents remain extremely rare.
“We remain strongly committed to educating our Canterbury drivers on safe driving through our in-person training days, street advertising, police patrols and clear in-app messaging.”
The company said it is working with police to share details of the rider and Kent Police are aware of the incident and are investigating.
A Kent County Council spokesman added: ‘Officers have been notified of a collision in the electric scooter testing area in Canterbury and our thoughts are with the person who was injured.
“Following consultations with the Department of Transport, we will continue to work with our partner Bird, who is supplying the vehicles for this trial, to ensure driver warnings are clear and violations are taken seriously.”
City Councilors Nick Eden-Green and Pip Hazelton have now taken up Mrs Carter’s case, as has County Councilor Alister Brady.
In November 2020, an e-scooter rider collided with a woman from behind on the sidewalk less than a mile from where Ms. Carter was hit, leaving her with a broken leg and arm.
Political student Joshua Mpia, 19, was charged with causing serious injury by dangerous driving and driving without a license and given a suspended prison sentence.
He rode a personal machine that is not allowed to be ridden on the road or on the sidewalk, unlike Bird e-scooters which have a special waiver to do so.
Reported number of fatalities in e-scooter collisions skyrocketed in the UK in 2021
What are the laws on e-scooters?
Renting an e-scooter is currently the only way to legally drive the vehicle on a public road or in any other public place.
But the controversial vehicles could be approved for use in the UK after a trial period. Currently, 10 boroughs in London are participating in the three-provider scheme to test how e-scooters work on the roads of the capital.
However, riding e-scooters on the pavement is prohibited and riders must be 18 years of age or older and have a full or provisional driver’s license to rent one.
It is also illegal to use private e-scooters or other motorized means of transport on public roads.
Relevant laws on the use of e-scooters include:
On public roads, anyone using a private e-scooter or other motorized carrier is likely to commit at least one of a number of offenses, such as driving a motor vehicle without insurance. You could be liable for a flat fine of £300 and six points on your driving licence
It is generally an offense to drive a motor vehicle on sidewalks, and this applies to e-scooters and motorized transporters at all times
E-scooters and motorized transporters may be used on private property with permission from the landowner or resident
E-scooters rented from the TfL program are allowed to ride on London’s public roads and cycling infrastructure in participating boroughs.
These boroughs will designate no-go areas where e-scooters cannot be ridden and will come to a safe stop, as well as go-slow areas, where the speed of e-scooters will be reduced to 13 km/h