Highlighting the dangers of e-scooters after guide dog owner hit
A guide dog owner has spoken to BBC Breakfast about her experiences of e-scooters as the year-long trial of the two-wheel transport device starts in London.
Elaine Maries from Milton Keynes was hit by an e-scooter last summer, knocking her into her guide dog Inca.
The new London e-scooter trial is part of a Government backed 12-month trial of e-scooter rental schemes across England. The aim is to assess how they might fit into the community as a new alternative transport method to reduce car and public transport use.
E-scooters are almost silent, which means that people with sight loss have little or no warning they are approaching. Blind and partially sighted people typically rely on hearing to navigate safely, which makes detecting and avoiding e-scooters riding on the pavement almost impossible.
Government trials have seen a boom in the sale of private e-scooters, which are illegal on public roads and can only be driven on private land. This explosion in e-scooter use has seen a corresponding increase in reports of dangerous and anti-social use. Earlier this year a YouGov survey for Guide Dogs found that half of the people who had come across e-scooters saw them driven unsafely.
The same survey also revealed that e-scooters were most commonly found in London, with 63 per cent of those questioned seeing an e-scooter, with one in four seeing one at least once a day – despite there being no e-scooter trial in London at the time.
Guide Dogs is calling for e-scooters to be fitted with better safety features, such as an audible warning on moving e-scooters, better enforcement against unsafe use and regulation of private e-scooter sales.
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