The independent Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) is calling on the UK Government to tackle the continuing issues of what it calls unsafe e-scooter use by requiring better reporting of collisions and increasing the opportunities for casualty data to be collected.
In a report on e-scooter casualties published today, PACTS points out that:
- records from the Government’s e-scooter rental trials, designed to “build robust evidence about the safety” cannot be readily matched with official data; and,
- casualty data must be collected more rigorously during the trials, recently extended to May 2026, to increase understanding of the hazard and danger of e-scooter use.
This study builds on PACTS’ research into the safety of private e-scooters. PACTS has investigated the extent of under-recording of injury collisions involving e-scooters by analysing data from two months in late 2021. It looked at 300 casualties recorded by hospitals across the UK, police records and data from the rental trials to identify matches between the different datasets.
Recording the number of people injured in road traffic collisions involving e-scooters means the risk of harm to the rider and the risk of harm to other road users can be better understood. The official data for all road traffic casualties, regardless of type of mobility, are based on police records. It has long been recognised and accepted that when comparing the official data with the number of people presenting at hospital with an injury from a road traffic collision, there are discrepancies.
This study found that:
- fewer than 10% of casualties with any level of injury from a collision involving an e-scooter presenting to emergency departments were recorded in the official data;
- Around a quarter of those most seriously injured in collisions involving e-scooters were recorded by both the police and at hospitals.
In the report, Comparing police and hospital e-scooter casualty datasets, PACTS calls on the DfT to:
- Improve the means of recording e-scooter casualties using the rental e-scooter schemes by updating guidance to operators and local authorities so data collection more closely aligns with recording systems the police use; and,
- Increase the opportunities for casualty data to be collected by issuing clear information to the public about the obligations of reporting road traffic collisions to the police, including those involving e-scooters on public roads and public places.
Margaret Winchcomb, PACTS Deputy Executive Director, said: “Transport is an evolving environment. With technological development, as well as incentives from other policy areas, mobility choice is changing. Smaller, zero-emissions vehicles, such as e-scooters are popular, be they illegally ridden private vehicles or regulated rental e-scooters. For all, it is essential that the methods for measuring their hazard to riders and danger to other road users are consistent and robust so that safety is adequately understood. The Government should make the most of the extension of the rental trials, until May 2026, to improve and widen the way injuries from e-scooter collisions are recorded.”
The full report, Comparing police and hospital e-scooter casualty datasets, is available here:
The report was funded by the Road Safety Trust.
(Picture – Transport for London)