The rapid appearance of e-scooter in European cities caused significant controversy among people, as the attitude towards them was uncertain. On the one hand, people embraced e-scooters as they are an eco-friendly alternative to the inner-city mobility option that allows users to get to their destination without getting stuck in traffic. On the other hand, e-scooters are associated with an increased threat to the health and safety of riders, pedestrians, and car drivers, which makes people want to ban or restrict e-scooters. While the current legal framework concerning e-scooters is inadequate in Europe, I believe that banning e-scooters option is not an option. However, certain restrictions are needed to ensure the safety of all citizens.
The statistics in numerous countries confirm that using e-scooters is associated with significant risks health and safety of different stakeholders. According to Statista (2020), the number of e-scooter accidents per 100,000 citizens in the US increased by 222% between 2014 and 2018. The UK Department of Transport (2021) reported that there were 460 accidents involving e-scooters in 2020 and 484 casualties, among which one was killed. E-scooter riders are a vulnerable group since they are not protected by the vehicle body, making them extremely susceptible to injuries (Department of Transport, 2021). The most commonly occurring injuries are bone fractures, head trauma, cuts, sprains, and bruises (Statista, 2019). Banning e-scooters or restricting them to some extent will reduce the number of injuries. However, it should be mentioned that the majority.
There are no adequate laws that guide the use of e-scooters, which makes them a public nuisance. In the majority of EU cities, people can ride e-scooter on the sidewalk as fast as 27 km/hour, which causes significant threats to pedestrians. The UK Department of Transport (2021) reported that 11.8% of accidents involved pedestrians, which demonstrates that allowing e-scooters on the sidewalks may be associated with significant dangers to people walking in the street and riders trying to avert a collision with pedestrians. Moreover, e-scooter riders are not obliged by law to wear helmets, which makes head trauma a significant danger to the riders (Statista, 2020). Banning e-scooters will solve the problem of the inadequate legal framework.
While the arguments provided by the opponents of e-scooters are adequate, there other ways to address the described problems than banning the new transportation method, first, Preston (2020) reported that bicyclists are as vulnerable as e-scooter riders; thus, adapting laws may decrease the level of traumatism among riders. Second, scooters can be modified to decrease the probability of accidents. Srivastava (2021) reported that the speed of e-scooters can be decreased depending on the area of artificial intelligence that can assist the driving process of e-scooters. Finally, the legal framework can be modified to require all e-scooter riders to wear helmets or ride in bicycle lanes. In summary, making adjustments is a viable method to tackle the problem.
E-scooters are a wonderful solution to improving inner-city mobility. First, they are convenient, as they are available almost everywhere in the city and they can be dropped almost everywhere. Second, they are eco-friendly, as their use is not associated with CO2 emissions. Finally, they are fun to ride, which is crucial for people in cities that are forced to stay all day in the office or at home during lockdown days. Banning e-scooters would mean less fun and convenience with greater emissions of greenhouse gases.
In conclusion, e-scooters are a significant danger to both pedestrians and riders. The central cause of danger to the health and safety of all the stakeholders is inadequate regulation. The problem can be addressed by changing the current legal framework concerning e-scooters and modifying the e-scooters themselves. It is not adequate to ban the use of e-scooters; however, making some modifications to the way they are used now is imperative.
Department of Transport (2021) Reported road casualties Great Britain: e-Scooter factsheet 2020. Web.
Preston, B. (2020) New Study Shows Safety Risks of Riding e-Scooters on the Sidewalk. Web.
Srivastava, S. (2021) E-Scooter trends and statistics are displaying a prosperous future. Web.
Statista (2019) How dangerous are electric scooters? Web.
Statista (2020) U.S. experiences surge in e-Scooter accidents. Web.