National pedestrian safety campaign backs Chorley mum's petition for stricter e-scooter laws after daughter hit
A national campaigner fighting to see electric scooters permanently banned from the UK's roads has backed a petition by a Chorley mum for a tougher crackdown on scooter users.
Sarah Gayton, Street access campaigns coordinator for the National Federation of the Blind of the UK (NFBUK), is backing Naomi Moazzeny's petition, arguing e-scooters should be completely eradicated.
The mum from Chorley set up her online petition, which needs to reach 10,000 signatures, after her five-year-old daughter was hit by a speeding scooter in St James' Park in London earlier this month.
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NFBUK is a charity working to improve the overall welfare and quality of daily life for all blind and vision-impaired people, campaigning for spaces where pedestrians are not forced to share spaces with motorised and moving vehicles.
And street campaign coordinator Sarah says that e-scooters are 'an accident waiting to happen' that should be permanently banned from being used and sold to the public.
The news comes as Councillor Keith Martin, who sits on South Ribble Borough Council and Penwortham Town Council, issued a warning to parents who buy their children e-scooters, saying "good luck trying to get cheaper car insurance."
Sarah said: “We are mortified to hear yet again someone has been hit in this way by a scooter when enjoying a day with family in a park. It is so worrying that children can fall victim to these electronic scooters.
“People are being taken out left right and centre and it just isn’t good enough. We want the shops to stop selling them and for them to be completely taken off the streets before more people are hurt or killed.
“They should not be making a profit off other people’s danger. Even in areas where there are scooter trials, they are still being misused, may be damaged or have faulty breaks or tyres and pose a huge risk to pedestrians.
“In cities, you see them left all over the pavements, which is a trip hazard and just totally unacceptable that these city councils are just ignoring their dangers and letting them be used anywhere.
“Over the summer there seems to have been one incident after another involving these scooters. It might seem like a green and efficient way of travelling, but people are putting their lives in the hands of a narrow and flimsy machine.
“For blind and visually impaired people, it is even more concerning because they can’t move out of the way of a speeding scooter in time. It is terrifying because you can’t get them off the pavement and they could so easily hit someone.”
Trials of e-scooters are taking place in 32 UK cities, however, it is illegal to use an e-scooter in public unless it is rented as part of a recognised trial scheme.
Salford and Rochdale were among the two latest cities to be introduced to the new trial, with Sarah Gayton speaking to ManchesterWorld about the pilot scheme.
Currently, a petition is nearing 10,000 signatures for tougher requirements to be introduced for people using the scooters, including the need for a permit or drivers license.
There is a growing list of incidents involving e-scooters and at least four people in the UK have died in e-scooters crashes.
And according to an investigation by ITV’s Tonight programme, there have been 1,100 complaints and 210 people have suffered injuries in incidents involving e-scooters since trials began.