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Think twice about being e-legal this Christmas says the ABI

Safety and legality concerns prompt warning about buying an e-scooter as a Christmas gift.

The ABI (Association of British Insurers) is warning people to think twice before buying an e-scooter as a Christmas gift. While it is not illegal to own, buy or sell an e-scooter, and they can be used on private land, it is illegal to ride them on public roads, pavements, and cycle lanes, unless as part of one of the Government trials.

E-scooter riders are at risk of:

  • Facing or causing serious injury to themselves, other road users and pedestrians. Users are 8 times more likely to suffer a head injury than a cyclist. Latest figures1 show that in 2020 there were 484 casualties involving e-scooters - on average over one injury every day. Since 2018 there have been an estimated 29 deaths linked to their use. The status of e-scooters means that there are no regulatory standards to govern their construction to ensure the safety of these devices.
  • Penalties for their illegal use. Riders could face a £300 fine and six points on their licence if they use them on public roads or pavements. This could impact on the cost of future motor insurance. The e-scooter can also be confiscated by the police.

Laura Hughes, ABI’s Manager, General Insurance, said:

Laura Hughes“We share the Government’s vision of a greener and more inclusive transport system. But at present, used illegally on the roads and pavements, e-scooters are dangerous to their owners, other road users and pedestrians. To help ensure they can reach their potential, it is essential that the Government develops robust regulations around their construction and use, so that e-scooter travel can become as safe as possible.”

Matthew Avery, chief strategic research director, Thatcham Research, comments:

“Before the mobility benefit of e-scooters can be realised, regulation is urgently required. In the absence of prompt action, e-scooter travel, which could be 100 times more dangerous than riding a bicycle, will continue to present a real risk not only to users but also to pedestrians, drivers and people living with disabilities.

“Outside of the government trials, it’s illegal to ride an e-scooter on public roads. And while vital safety features are yet to be mandated by regulation, gifting an e-scooter to a loved one this Christmas could see them ending up either in the back of an ambulance or a police car.”


Notes for Editors 

Enquiries to:  

Malcolm Tarling                  020 7216 7410    Mobile:  07776 147667  

Laura Dawson                     020 7216 7338    Mobile:  0772 5245838

Myles Langstone           020 7216 7335   Mobile   0783 4626206

Sarah Aspinall                     020 7216 7412    Mobile:  0772 5245297   

  1. 1 https://qz.com/1793164/at-least-29-people-have-died-in-electric-scooter-crashes/ 
  2. The Association of British Insurers is the voice of the UK’s world leading insurance and long-term savings industry.  A productive, inclusive, and thriving sector, we are an industry that provides peace of mind to households and businesses across the UK and powers the growth of local and regional economies by enabling trade, risk taking, investment and innovation. 
  3. Skype and FaceTime are available for broadcast.
  4. More news and information from the ABI is available on our web site, www.abi.org.uk.  

Last updated 25/11/2021