Terrifying moment little girl from Chorley is hit by e-scooter as mum petitions for tougher laws

A Chorley mum captures the horrifying moment her five-year-old daughter, who lives with complex medical conditions and awaiting open heart surgery, is hit by an electric scooter on a family trip to London.

By James Holt
Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 4:25 pm

Now, she is petitioning to see harsher laws brought in for users of the motorised scooters, which have currently been introduced to 32 trial cities in the UK as a way of transportation.

Naomi Moazzeny and dad Farzam visited St James' park in London earlier this month, August 13, and had spent the afternoon feeding ducks and enjoying the outdoors.

But it was when two boys, riding the electric scooters down the footpath that surrounded the park, drove straight into their daughter Riziah, 5, that their trip took a turn for the worse.

The tot, who requires a wheelchair to get around and a pacemaker to keep her alive, was left with bruises on her arms, legs and hips, as well as scabs on her head, and was transported in an ambulance to a nearby hospital after the ordeal.

Mum Naomi, from Astley Village, said: "It was a big family trip because the kids had never been to London before, and we had spent the day at Buckingham Palace and then decided to walk around the park.

"We were due to catch the last train back, so had a few hours to kill in the afternoon so stayed in the park and bought our daughter some nuts so that she could feed the squirrels on the bench.

"We had noticed there were two teenage boys riding their scooters along the public footpaths in the park, which I immediately thought was dangerous because there are signs saying no bikes are allowed in the park.

Naomi Moazzeny has set up a petition to stop electric scooters being ridden in public parks

"They were looping the same lap and going round at quite some speed, racing against each other. Children or elderly people just do not have a chance of getting out of the way in time because they are motorised vehicles and can go quite fast.

"Next minute she crossed the path and was instantly taken out by one of the scooters It hit her head-on. It is a miracle my daughter is here, after the complex pregnancy because we were told she wouldn't make it through.

"It was so scary. She was flipped into the air and fell, landing on different parts of her body including her arms and hips. We feared she could have broken her arm, and she began going blue."

Riziah, who lives with a pacemaker in her stomach to keep her heart beating, is currently awaiting open heart surgery and relies on a wheelchair to get around as she gets tired quickly.

Riziah lives with a pacemaker in her stomach to keep her heart beating

In 2017, the 'miracle' baby celebrated her first birthday, after doctors predicted that she would die before birth. She survived a heart operation just days after she was born and she still faces more surgery.

Trials of e-scooters are taking place in 32 UK cities, including London however, it is illegal to use an e-scooter in public unless it is rented as part of a recognised trial scheme.

Transport for London carried out a comparison between cycling and e-scooter injuries using data from the US and concluded that the rate of serious injuries was around 100 times more for e-scooter rides than cyclists.

The five year old was hit by an electric scooter on a family holiday in London

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Using an e-scooter on private land is legal but for public use, they are classed as powered transporters, which means e-scooters are covered by the same laws that govern the use of cars and other motor vehicles.

That means it is illegal to ride them on pavements, footpaths, cycle lanes and in pedestrianised zones.

Mum Naomi has now set up a Government petition, which needs to reach a milestone of 10,000 signatures, asking for the motorised scooters to be banned from public parks which are often popular spots for families with youngsters.

Riziah was transported to the hospital in an ambulance after the incident

She added: "My daughter had just had her pacemaker moved from her chest cavity to her abdomen. The hospital said it is lucky that the scooter didn't hit that or it could have been a much worse outcome.

"I want these e-scooters to become illegal in parks where so many families play. I am not trying to ruin anyone fun, I know they are a great way for people to get around especially in cities, but they are motorised vehicles and should only be used in cycle lanes.

"Even in Chorley, we see people using them up and down the pavements and in parks and streets. If it hit any child this would have been catastrophic, but after what my daughter has been through, it could have been avoided.

"More needs to be done to police the use of these e-scooters because they have the potential to be life-threatening and dangerous. I just want to get the message out there that people need to be aware and more careful around them."

Just last week, the Lancashire Association of Local Councils raised e-scooters as a major safety concern in local communities.

And Councillor Keith Martin, who sits on South Ribble Borough Council and Penwortham Town Council added his voice to concerns, issuing a warning to parents who buy their children e-scooters, saying "good luck trying to get cheaper car insurance."

He said: "They're so expensive, but they're being treated as toys. If you hit someone at 20mph with one of those, it would be like being hit by a car.

"And parents need to be aware that if their children are caught with one, the children can be fined, given an ASBO or similar, and can have points put on their driving licence - even if they're too young to have one yet."

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.

Lancashire Police have recently taken to social media, appealing for people to keep e-scooters off the roads and footpaths.

A spokesman said: "We have been receiving numerous complaints in relation to e-scooters being ridden on roads and pavements in the area.

"Unfortunately at this time due to e-scooters being classified as light electric vehicles they are currently treated as motor vehicles and are therefore subject to the legal requirements of MOT, licensing, tax and insurance.

"Although some UK local authorities are trialling Future Transport Zones to allow the use of e-scooters on the roads, Lancashire are not part of the trials. Lancashire Police do have the power to seize such vehicles so we ask that you keep your e-scooters on private land."