Legalizing private e-scooters ‘would save 44,000 tons of CO2 per year’
Legalizing e-scooters for use on public roads could help save more than 44,000 tonnes of CO2 a year in the UK – the equivalent of the emissions produced by 29,000 passenger cars each year, according to a new analysis.
According to new research from e-mobility website Move Electric, more than one in five drivers surveyed in a new study would consider replacing short car journeys with an e-scooter if they were legalized in the UK.
But there are huge safety concerns about scooters and the claim comes as reports suggest private e-scooters could be released on the roads ‘within the next 12 months’, despite three riders being killed in 2020 and another 729 injured. got into crashes in Britain.
Statistics from the Department for Transport also show that 131 pedestrians were injured by e-scooter riders during the year.
Would legalizing private e-scooters reduce air pollution? Research claims 22% of motorists would swap cars for short trips, which could save 44,000 tons of CO2 per year
Currently, the legal use of e-scooters is limited to rental cars that are only used in specific public areas.
London became one of the newest cities in the UK to try e-scooters this year, joining more than 30 other UK territories – including Newcastle, Bristol and Bournemouth – already operating rental programmes.
But with many privately owned e-scooters being sold and used by owners both inside and outside these pilot zones – and the police struggle to enforce their use – the government is asking to make them legal.
The Transport Committee of MPs called for e-scooters to be legalized on roads – but not sidewalks – to help people from poorer backgrounds avoid the cost of obtaining a driver’s license, reduce journey times and reduce vehicle emissions.
The London Cycle Campaign (LCC) also supports them for use on public roads, saying they offer a ‘cleaner, low-carbon alternative’ for those who can’t or don’t want to cycle.
E-scooters used to identify potholes to increase safety
E-scooters are used to record the location of potholes on UK roads.
Dott said it has fitted sensors to some of its rental e-scooters in London to collect road surface data during 1,800 journeys over 2,000 miles.
The sensors, supplied by technology company See.Sense, detect bumps in the road and changes in rider behavior, such as extreme braking and swerve.
Sudden movements of riders indicate that they are on a road with an uneven surface.
E-scooters have smaller wheels than motor vehicles and bicycles, making them more vulnerable to potholes.
Hazard areas identified as part of the 10-week trial in London have been shared with authorities responsible for maintaining those roads.
Dott co-founder Maxim Romain said: “Quality infrastructure is essential to help micromobility users feel safe while on the move.
“The results of this new trial, in collaboration with See.Sense, show that Dott’s vehicles can do more than just provide efficient, reliable and sustainable transportation for its drivers – they can also provide valuable lessons to create smart cities that are safer and more enjoyable.” are for all residents.’
And more than one in five motorists also said they would take an e-scooter if they became legal in the UK.
A survey of 5,078 drivers found that if e-scooters were legalized, 22 percent would consider swapping their cars for an e-scooter on journeys of less than a mile, which could have a positive impact on air pollution, especially in big cities.
According to data from the Department for Transport, 0.43 per cent of all car journeys in the UK are less than a mile long, which equates to 49.1 miles of journeys for every car in the UK each year.
Based on the UK’s average vehicle emissions of 138.4 g/km CO2, if 22 per cent of drivers made these trips with an e-scooter, the CO2 savings would equal 44,261 tonnes.
That’s the equivalent of 821 Olympic swimming pools per month, Move Electric says.
The poll found that 45 percent of motorists are in favor of legalizing e-scooters, although four in five (79 percent) of those who support their legalization would like to see them taxed and insured before riders can drive them.
The survey results also found that 42 percent of all respondents surveyed believe e-scooters are a viable solution to help cities and urban areas reduce air pollution.
Awareness of local authorities’ trials for e-scooters was also high: 86 percent of respondents were aware that they can only be used on private property or in pilot areas.
But last week the Association of British Insurers urged consumers to think twice before buying an e-scooter as a Christmas gift this year, due to the high number of accidents involving a scooter.
According to data from More Than Insurance, about 31 percent of people have witnessed an accident in which an e-scooter collided with a car or pedestrian.
And another 83 percent said they’d seen e-scooters driving down the sidewalk despite not being allowed to.
As a result, the ABI encourages people to think twice before buying one as a gift.
E-scooters will be a popular Christmas gift this year, but users are warned about injuries
Commenting on the findings of the study, James Attwood, editor at Move Electric, said: ‘The government is currently helping local authorities in the UK conduct trials of e-scooters to understand how they could be integrated into the existing transport network. .
Although some motorists remain skeptical about the use of e-scooters, already one in five would consider replacing short car journeys with one.
“While car journeys less than a mile account for a fraction of the total mileage, replacement with an e-scooter can help reduce local air pollution.
“With one in five drivers already interested in switching, this alone could save more than 44,000 tons of CO2 per year, equivalent to taking more than 29,000 cars off the road.
While it is important for the government to consider e-scooter safety as well as issues such as taxation and insurance, as the UK moves towards more sustainable transport solutions, the UK should continue to discuss possible ways to improve local air quality. to improve.’
Using cars for short journeys is especially inefficient for petrol and diesel models, as combustion engines do not reach their maximum efficiency until their advanced CO2 cleaning technologies have reached their optimum operating temperature, which can take minutes.
As a result, on journeys of less than a mile, their engines have the potential to be much less efficient.
Drivers caught driving e-scooters could face car insurance issues
by Grace Gausden for ThisisMoney
More Than also warned drivers to exercise caution when driving any of the scooters, as it could affect their insurance policy.
It said an increasing number of car insurance policyholders were receiving IN10 convictions from the police for driving without insurance while using a private e-scooter in a public place.
IN10 convictions must be reported to insurers and can affect the future terms of a policy, making it more difficult and expensive to purchase insurance in the future.
Motorists may not be aware that being caught illegally driving an e-scooter can impact their car insurance
Matthew Avery, Head of Strategic Research at Thatcham Research, added: “Regulation is urgently needed before the mobility benefit of e-scooters can be realised.
“If prompt action is not taken, traveling with an e-scooter, which can be 100 times more dangerous than cycling, will continue to pose a real risk not only to users, but also to pedestrians, drivers and people with disabilities.
‘It is prohibited to drive an e-scooter on public roads outside the government processes.
“And while essential safety features have yet to be mandated by law, gifting an e-scooter to a loved one this Christmas could end up in the back of an ambulance or police car.”
E-scooter riders injured 131 pedestrians last year (including 14 over 70 and 21 children under 10)
According to new figures, e-scooters injured 131 pedestrians in the UK over the course of 12 months.
Thirty-seven of the victims suffered injuries described as ‘serious’ by the Department of Transport.
Other road users injured in e-scooter collisions in the year ending June included 36 cyclists and 32 vehicle occupants.
Fourteen victims were 70 years and older, 17 between 60 and 69 years. Twenty-one children under 10 were injured.
The figures also show that three e-scooter users were killed in accidents and another 729 were injured.
E-scooter rider Shakur Pinnock, 20, died in hospital in June, six days after being involved in a car accident in Wolverhampton.
Most of the casualties among the riders were under the age of 30, including seven who were under the age of 10.
Some older riders were also injured, including four aged 60-69 and one aged at least 70.
About a fifth of the accidents involving e-scooters involved no other vehicle.
The figures do not distinguish between incidents involving e-scooters that are rented or privately owned.
Private e-scooters are not legal to use in the UK except on private property but are common on roads and sidewalks in urban areas.
Charity Guide Dogs has called for a ban on the sale of privately owned high-speed e-scooters and fears their use will force some people with loss of face to change their route or avoid independent travel altogether.
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