Torbay’s MP Kevin Foster helped raised awareness of the danger unsafe e-scooter use poses for people with sight loss when he met the charity Guide Dogs at the Conservative party conference.
There are limited trials of rental e-scooters taking place in parts of the country to help the government decide whether they can be used legally more widely on our streets. However, there has been a boom in sales of privately-owned e-scooters which are not legal to use on public roads – yet their use is widespread.
YouGov polling produced for the charity Guide Dogs showed 92% of people who had seen an e-scooter in the past 6 months, had seen one driven on the pavement. E-scooters driven unsafely on the pavement cause problems for many pedestrians, but people with sight loss who cannot see an e-scooter approach are particularly at risk.
Guide Dogs staff were attending the party conference to shed more light on the potentially dangerous use of e-scooters using their ‘beat the wheel’ quiz.
Kevin is supporting Guide Dogs’ call for a public information campaign to stop the illegal use of e-scooters. There’s also widespread support for Guide Dogs’ call to require e-scooters to make a continuous noise so people with sight loss know they are coming, as well as applying limits on their weight and speed.
Kevin Foster MP, said:
“It was useful to speak with Guide Dogs about their campaign and the risk posed by some scooters available on-line, which can travel at up to 40MPH, and are not legal for use on public roads. It is vital those thinking of buying one understand both the law and the risk they could pose to more vulnerable pedestrians who suffer from sight loss.”
Chris Theobald, Senior Policy, Public Affairs and Campaigns Manager for Guide Dogs, said:
“We have seen alarming reports of unsafe and anti-social behaviour, pedestrians injured in collisions, and illegal private e-scooter use increasing. 68% of guide dog owners have told us that e-scooters reduce their confidence to leave the house. It’s essential that pavements are kept clear and safe. That’s why we’re asking for better enforcement, controls on sales, and safety features if they are to be legalised.”