e scooters - a menace?

Sep 13, 2020
56
21
While I was here updating my earlier thread, I thought it might be worth mentioning that I've had two "encounters" with e scooter riders in the last few months.

These encounters were due to the e scooter rider not paying due care and attention on both occasions.

The first was in a local off road area, which has nice wide paved pathways amongst the fields. These can accommodate both cyclists and pedestrians. In fact there is a sign to say cyclists can use. I was cycling downhill on one part, doing about 20mph with no pedal assistance. An e scooter was coming up in the opposite direction, which theroretically should have been fine as there were no walkers, and ample space for the two of us to pass, no issues. Then in a flash the idiot - with his head down so not looking where he was going - veered into my path, and I just managed to avoid him by moving quickly to the right. We could both have been badly hurt if we'd collided.

The second was when I was cycling on the flat, local estate road, and a young guy on an e scooter came flying out of an alleyway adjacent to the pavement, and straight out onto the road. He was crossing the road to where the alley re-commenced on the other side of the road, but just wasn't looking where he was going. Fortunately for him (and me), he had whizzed by with maybe a couple of milliseconds to go before a collision would have ensued, and there were no cars on the road.

I'm not certain about the legality of these things, but there seem to be increasing numbers of them about, including suburban residential areas (so not confined to City Centres). If the two I met are anything to go by, their mindset definitely isn't on what's going on around them.

Any thoughts or other near misses to relate?
 
  • Agree
  • Like
Reactions: TedG and sjpt

Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
14,632
5,675
58
West Sx RH
Legalities are they are illegal to use in public unless a hired trial one.

In the news a lad was killed using one recently though a hit and run driver was being sought for the accident, but doesn't excuse the fact that an illegal e-scooter was used. Injuries are being reported a little girl was hit by one in London park recently and suffered, the rider stopped and said sorry apparently. Sorry isn't good enough when the user knows they shouldn't be using one in public, there are no excuses of saying they didn't know.
 

wheeliepete

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 28, 2016
1,909
689
58
Devon
This problem is not helped by the fact they are so available. Do the likes of Halfrauds and other retailers really think every punter they sell one to has access to private land? I don't think so, they don't give a sh#t, but they are the largest part of the problem. If I reflect on my younger, invincible, reckless self, I would prob. be flying around on one, riding like I stole it. One can be had for £11 a month.
 

sjpt

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 8, 2018
2,737
2,124
Near misses are pretty common-place, by people riding too fast in pedestrian areas, while still attending and (almost) in control. It's surprising there aren't more hits with pedestrians (particularly children) suddenly making unexpected quick moves; as they (perfectly reasonably) do.
 

Doctor john

Just Joined
Jul 8, 2021
3
1
I have no problem with the legality or otherwise of these machines .(if they commit the crime they pay the fine) . But they do seem to attract the idiots and nutters and that seems to be the reason the police have noticed them .
 

StuartsProjects

Pedelecer
May 9, 2021
234
121
Yep, its not the eScooters that are the problem, its the riders.

However in the UK its unlikley that our freedom loving Governments will ever introduce high enough penalties that would disuade their illegal use.

Perhaps in the eScooter forums (if they exist) the advice given is just to lie to the Police if your caught "Sorry officer I did not realise they were illegal".
 
Sep 13, 2020
56
21
Yep, its not the eScooters that are the problem, its the riders.

However in the UK its unlikley that our freedom loving Governments will ever introduce high enough penalties that would disuade their illegal use.

Perhaps in the eScooter forums (if they exist) the advice given is just to lie to the Police if your caught "Sorry officer I did not realise they were illegal".
The way I see it is that if they rode the scooters responsibly, there probably wouldn't be too much of a problem. But they don't. They seem a different breed to most cyclists (although I accept there are also some irresponsible cyclists)
 

montwo

Pedelecer
Feb 11, 2019
83
56
I have no problem with the legality or otherwise of these machines .(if they commit the crime they pay the fine) . But they do seem to attract the idiots and nutters and that seems to be the reason the police have noticed them .
There's a little of chicken and egg going on at the moment. I'm 54, have a clean licence, insure a car and a motorcycle. I'd be interested in an e-scooter - and would be as sensible on one as on my bikes / in my car. But I'm not going to ride one knowing I'm an easy stop for the police for a fine and 6 points on my licence. The 'idiots and nutters' don't care and / or have less to lose. If scooters were legal I believe the demographic using them would change.
 

Benjahmin

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 10, 2014
1,933
1,321
67
West Wales
I saw my first e-scooter in Carmarthen the other day. I'd say the guy riding it was 40-50, he was dressed in shorts, tee shirt and sandals and wearing a helmet (so that's alright then). He was on the road and certainly doing more than 15mph, uphill. No number plate didn't spot any lights or bell/horn.
I don't understand how retailers (especially Halfrauds) are allowed to sell on the (nod nod wink wink) premise that it's for private land use only. It's so blatant.
The government have allowed and created this confusion throught their own muddled thinking.
If it's a motor vehicle then it should have plates, tax, insurance etc. And therefore should not be on the bloody pavement.
If it's not then where does it fall? It has no pedals, so is not an e-bike. It's not a an invalid carriage or it would have to be restricted to 4mph (pavement) or 8mph (road).
This thing of them being illegal unless it's a hired one is just plain crazy, bought about, I suspect, by commercial lobbying from American business concerns.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
49,353
27,051
This thing of them being illegal unless it's a hired one is just plain crazy, bought about, I suspect, by commercial lobbying from American business concerns.
That is actually fact rather than suspicion. Nobody here dreamed up the idea, it was primarily lobbying our government by two US scooter hire companies that did. That coincided with the government desperate to have a US trade deal due to Brexit and Trump's "America First" insistence tending to make that unlikely.

So our government saw allowing US scooter rentals as the Trojan Horse to create a more favourable atmosphere to get a trade deal, you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours etc.

But of course we've ended up with this mess but still no trade deal.
.
 
Sep 13, 2020
56
21
There's a little of chicken and egg going on at the moment. I'm 54, have a clean licence, insure a car and a motorcycle. I'd be interested in an e-scooter - and would be as sensible on one as on my bikes / in my car. But I'm not going to ride one knowing I'm an easy stop for the police for a fine and 6 points on my licence. The 'idiots and nutters' don't care and / or have less to lose. If scooters were legal I believe the demographic using them would change.
Spot on.
 

sneggysteve

Pedelecer
Oct 29, 2020
43
12
That is actually fact rather than suspicion. Nobody here dreamed up the idea, it was primarily lobbying our government by two US scooter hire companies that did. That coincided with the government desperate to have a US trade deal due to Brexit and Trump's "America First" insistence tending to make that unlikely.

So our government saw allowing US scooter rentals as the Trojan Horse to create a more favourable atmosphere to get a trade deal, you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours etc.

But of course we've ended up with this mess but still no trade deal.
.
Is this correct? I would say that 90% of the e scooters are from China / Taiwan (Giant being one of them) so how are US companies going to benefit?
Just wondering
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
49,353
27,051
Is this correct? I would say that 90% of the e scooters are from China / Taiwan (Giant being one of them) so how are US companies going to benefit?
Just wondering
It's the word Hire thats the clue. The US companies also get their scooters from the Orient, but the money is in city hire schemes, not in making and selling them.

it's bit like the bicycle hire schemes, we have around seven of them in London,

Whether the e-scooter hire schemes will pay here is unknown, they seem to in the USA, but American consumers are very different to British ones.
.
 

StuartsProjects

Pedelecer
May 9, 2021
234
121
It's the word Hire thats the clue. The US companies also get their scooters from the Orient, but the money is in city hire schemes, not in making and selling them.

it's bit like the bicycle hire schemes, we have around seven of them in London,

Whether the e-scooter hire schemes will pay here is unknown, they seem to in the USA, but American consumers are very different to British ones.
.
I also recall that (possibly ?) under pressure from the US companies the power limit for UK use was increased to 500W and the weight limit increased to 55Kg, with 350W and 35Kg were the original UK Government proposals.
 
  • Agree
Reactions: flecc

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
49,353
27,051
I also recall that (possibly ?) under pressure from the US companies the power limit for UK use was increased to 500W and the weight limit increased to 55Kg, with 350W and 35Kg were the original UK Government proposals.
Yes, for the trial only though, including the USA's 15 mph.

If they do legalise them the government says it wants to fall in line with the EU, 350 watts and 20kph (12.5 mph). Not sure there will be weight limits, the EU doesn't bother much with them and we scrapped all pedelec weight limits over five years ago. The limited power tends to do the same thing and the human weight variation makes an e-scooter weight limit pointless.

Whether hit by 64 kg me on a 55 kg e-scooter, (total 119 kg)

Or a 20 kg e-scooter ridden by 100 kg person isn't going to make much difference.
.