The number of electric scooter crashes in London increased significantly in 2021, with 258 incidents recorded in the first six months alone according to Metropolitan Police figures.
This disturbing statistic represents a marked increase in collisions involving electric scooters compared to previous years. Police recorded just nine incidents in 2018 and 38 in 2019, while 266 collisions occurred in 2020.
The problem was brought to light by Unmesh Desai, a member of the Labor Assembly in London, who asked Sadiq Khan for the figures.
Mr Desai said the use of illegal electric scooters in the capital “puts Londoners at significant risk” and called on people to stick to TfL’s electric scooter rental trial.
He said: ‘The use of illegal electric scooters on our roads and sidewalks exposes Londoners to significant damage, especially the most vulnerable in our communities, such as those with reduced mobility, the visually impaired and the hearing impaired.
“While it is concerning that these numbers are probably only the tip of the iceberg, it is encouraging to see the extent of enforcement action taken by TfL and the Met Police so far.”
TfL’s rental trial, which started last summer, remains the only legal way to drive electric scooters in London, with the use of private electric scooters banned in the UK.
Metropolitan Police seized more than 3,600 private electric scooters on the streets of London between January and November 2021. Users caught driving private electric scooters can be fined up to £ 300 and penalty points on their driver’s license.
Despite the sharp increase in collisions involving electric scooters last year, TfL only reported 13 incidents involving users of its test scooters out of a total of 520,000 trips.
Electric scooters, available for hire through the TfL test, are limited to a maximum speed of 12 miles per hour and come with additional safety features not found on many private scooters.
Last month, TfL announced it was banning passengers from taking private scooters and electric bikes on public transport following reports of fires caused by faulty batteries.
London firefighters have been called upon to witness more than 50 fires involving e-scooters and e-bikes in 2021, including a dramatic incident filmed and shared on social media which showed a subway car filling up with smoke from an electric scooter fire. .
TfL’s electric scooter rental trial is expected to last until at least June 2022.