The MP for Islwyn helped raised awareness of the danger that unsafe e-scooter use poses for people with sight loss when they met the charity Guide Dogs at the Labour party conference.
There are limited trials of rental e-scooters taking place in parts of the country to help the government decide whether they can be used legally more widely on our streets. However, there has been a boom in sales of privately-owned e-scooters which are not legal to use on public roads – yet their use is widespread.
YouGov polling produced for the charity Guide Dogs showed that 92% of people who had seen an e-scooter in the past 6 months, had seen one driven on the pavement. E-scooters driven unsafely on the pavement cause problems for many pedestrians, but people with sight loss who cannot see an e-scooter approach are particularly at risk.
Guide Dogs staff were attending the party conference to shed more light on the potentially dangerous use of e-scooters using their ‘beat the wheel’ quiz.
Chris Evans MP is supporting Guide Dogs’ call for a public information campaign to stop the illegal use of e-scooters.
There’s also widespread support for Guide Dogs’ call to require e-scooters to make a continuous noise so that people with sight loss know they are coming, as well as applying limits on their weight and speed.
Chris Evans MP, said: ‘I have become increasingly concerned about the growing use of e-scooters due to the huge impact they have on people with sight loss’
‘Those using e-scooters need to be aware that not only is it illegal to drive on the pavement, but it puts themselves and pedestrians, particularly those with sight loss at risk’
Chris Theobald, Senior Policy, Public Affairs and Campaigns Manager for Guide Dogs, said:
“We have seen alarming reports of unsafe and anti-social behaviour, pedestrians injured in collisions, and illegal private e-scooter use increasing. 68% of guide dog owners have told us that e-scooters reduce their confidence to leave the house. It’s essential that pavements are kept clear and safe. That’s why we’re asking for better enforcement, controls on sales, and safety features if they are to be legalised.”